President Donald Trump fired his Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and announced his decision in a tweet on Monday. There could be more layoffs in the discussion.
"I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the esteemed director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center (unanimously approved by the Senate), will be serving as Secretary of Defense effective immediately," he wrote on Twitter.
& # 39; Chris will do a great job! Mark Esper has quit. I want to thank him for his service, ”added Trump.
It has been reported that Trump has been planning a wave of layoffs after the election, with Esper and FBI Director Christopher Wray topping the list.
Miller is Trump's fifth Pentagon chief during his four years in the White House.
Miller also performs the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense and oversees the deployment of special forces to counter terrorism. He is a retired U.S. Army officer who served in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. He also served as an MP in the District of Columbia National Guard.
His term of office will be short. President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021 and will appoint his own Pentagon chief.
President Donald Trump fired his Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and announced his decision in a tweet on Monday
Christopher C. Miller, director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, will serve as Secretary of Defense. He is a retired army officer
Esper had reportedly prepared a resignation letter in expectation that Trump would fire him after the election.
A report last month pointed out that Esper, along with Wray and CIA director Gina Haspel, were on Trump's chopping block when he claimed victory in the 2020 presidential race against rival Joe Biden.
Last week, three current defense officials told NBC News that if Trump beats Biden, Esper will have his letter ready.
While it is not uncommon for cabinet secretaries to prepare undated letters of resignation during a change of presidency, Esper reportedly started his letter because his name is reportedly on the list of post-president election officials expected to be evicted.
Esper reportedly fell out of favor this summer when he rejected the idea of sending active duty soldiers onto the streets to fight protests across the country against racial injustices sparked by the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day.
The Secretary of Defense also reportedly made the president more difficult as he tried to distance himself from any role in Trump's controversial photo op in Lafayette Square in June. He showed him holding up a Bible in front of St. John & # 39; s Episcopal Church in DC.
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Defense Secretary Mark Esper reportedly had a letter of resignation ready
Esper reportedly made the president difficult as he tried to distance himself from any role in Trump's controversial photo op in Lafayette Square in June. He showed him holding up a Bible in front of St. John & # 39; s Episcopal Church in DC
In the moments before, police officers used tear gas and other riot control methods to forcibly evict demonstrators gathered in the square and surrounding streets so that Trump could walk from the White House to church.
Esper also walked next to the President but later said he did not know where he was going and never intended to take part in the photo operation.
"I thought I was going to do two things: see some damage and talk to the troops," Esper told NBC at the time.
"I didn't know where I was going," he continued, adding that he "had no idea" about plans to disperse protesters by force.
Esper also supported renaming military bases named after Confederate generals and leaders who Trump opposed, and he worked with Congress to do this without Trump's help.
Meanwhile, the firing of Wray, who has been in charge of the FBI since 2017, will also reportedly be Trump's first line of action, followed by the overthrow of Haspel from the CIA.
White House sources said that both Wray and Haspel are almost unanimously "despised and distrusted" by Trump's inner circle.
Trump allegedly would have fired both of them by now, a source said if it hadn't been for the November 3rd election.
The sacking of FBI Director Christopher Wray (pictured), who has been in charge of the FBI since 2017, will reportedly be Trump's first course of action. White House sources said that Wray is almost unanimously "despised and distrusted" by Trump's inner circle
Trump also plans to replace CIA director Gina Haspel (left) if he beats Biden
The President's ire was apparently struck by Wray after he failed to open a formal investigation into Hunter Biden, son of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, and his business in Ukraine.
Trump is also reported to have been furious with his second FBI chief for not cleaning up any more officials he believes may have abused their power to investigate the alleged ties of his 2016 campaign to Russia.
In addition, Trump was reportedly injured by the testimony Wray presented to the Senate Homeland Security Committee last month in which he stated that contrary to Trump's repeated claims, the FBI had not seen widespread electoral fraud, including postal voting.
While Trump seems less than satisfied with Wray's FBI tenure, a senior FBI official told Axios, "Major law enforcement agencies representing current and former FBI agents, as well as police and sheriff departments across the country, have their full support Consistently expressed for the leadership of Director Wray of the office. & # 39;
As for Reel, a source said the West Wing's opinion is that she sees her job as "manipulating people and results like she's got to have when handling assets on the ground".
Such an assessment has reportedly "aroused a great deal of suspicion about their motives". Trump is also reportedly becoming increasingly frustrated with Reel for speaking out against the release of documents by National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe in support of a review of the Obama administration's handling of the Trump-Russia investigation.
However, a source said Haspel could even resign from her post regardless of Trump's apparent dismissal and regardless of the election result.
"Ever since DNI began its efforts to downgrade documents and its concern about the protection of sources related to those materials, there have been rumors in the agency that the director will leave the CIA regardless of who the election is wins, "a source told Axios.
Should Trump secure election victory, such a victory would likely encourage him to oust anyone he believes may be hindering the implementation of any of his desired policies.
He would also be encouraged to fire those he believes are preventing him from investigating any of his perceived enemies.
Last month Trump signed an executive order that created a new classification of "political" federal employees that could exempt federal workforce from the protection of public service.
Critics blew the order in an attempt to "politicize the civil service" as it will now be easier for presidents to get rid of government officials.
The numerous other high-profile officials reportedly on Trump's hit list are not immediately known, although tremors are expected in a number of other departments.
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