BREAKING: Donald Trump Fires Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
President Donald Trump fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Monday, who last week reportedly drafted a resignation letter in anticipation of being let go.
Christopher Miller, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will step in as Acting Defense Secretary for the remainder of Trump’s first term.
Trump, as he always does, announced Esper’s termination on Twitter.
“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,” wrote Trump. “Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”
…Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2020
Last Thursday, NBC News reported that Esper had drafted a letter of resignation because he saw this coming. Esper and Trump’s relationship has collapsed in recent months over the removal of Confederate memorials and statues, which Esper supports and Trump fiercely opposes.
The president and Esper have also butted heads over Trump’s use of military force against peaceful protesters.
Esper probably will not be the only official facing Trump’s election-loss vengeance. Last month, the president signed an executive order granting himself the authority to fire federal employees whom he feels are disloyal.
The White House branded the proclamation as a way to “promote good governance and accountability within the federal workforce,” and that it would “empower our civil servants to best help others, the government must always operate more efficiently and more securely.”
In short, the executive order means that Trump can conduct a mass purge of the executive branch and install his own cronies during the transition into President-Elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration.
Trump has on multiple occasions refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. We are in for a long two months between now and Inauguration Day.
Seventy-two days until the inauguration.