Donald Trump Fires Defense Secretary Mark Esper Following US Election Loss
America's Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, has been 'terminated', according to President Donald Trump.
The Commander in Chief issued a tweet thanking the Pentagon chief for his service and revealed the decision would be 'effective immediately'.
"I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately...Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated," Trump said.
The President and Esper have been at odds in recent months, which came to a head during the protests following George Floyd's death.
Trump wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act, which would allow US military to be deployed to the streets and act as law enforcement to stop people rioting and looting.
Esper told reporters that the two-centuries old law should be invoked 'only in the most urgent and dire of situations', and, 'We are not in one of those situations now'.
The Associated Press reports that during Esper's 16 months in the job he largely supported Trump's policies however many thought he would quit or be fired if Trump won reelection. The news outlet added that Esper had been ready to resign for months.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn't hold back when reacting to the news.
"The abrupt firing of Secretary Esper is disturbing evidence that President Trump is intent on using his final days in office to sow chaos in our American Democracy and around the world," she said.
"Continuity and stability are always important during a presidential transition; they are absolutely imperative at this moment, as this historically erratic Administration prepares for its departure."
It's the second Defense Secretary to leave during Trump's four years as President after Jim Mattis resigned in 2018, however he has had five in total during his administration if you include those who were acting Secretary.
Esper had dire hopes for the person who would be put in his place if he was ousted.
In his final interview with the Military Times he said: "At the end of the day, it's as I said - you've got to pick your fights. I could have a fight over anything, and I could make it a big fight, and I could live with that -why?
"Who's going to come in behind me? It's going to be a real 'yes man.' And then God help us."
Esper was also trying to introduce legislation to Congress to rename US army bases named after Confederate generals.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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