Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has officially “resigned,” after Defense Secretary Mark Esper dismissed him from his duties for going outside the chain of command.
….contracting procedures were not addressed to my satisfaction. Therefore, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer’s services have been terminated by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. I thank Richard for his service & commitment. Eddie will retire peacefully with all of the…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2019
Let’s call it what it is, shall we? Spencer got sacked.
I would like to further state that in no way, shape, or form did I ever threaten to resign. That has been incorrectly reported in the press. I serve at the pleasure of the President.
— SECNAV76 (@secnav76) November 23, 2019
The forced resignation is connected with President Trump’s intervention in the war crimes case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.
The high-profile case involved Gallagher posing for photos with a dead ISIS fighter. Trump restored him to the rank and pay grade of E-7. This prompted military officials to formally review Gallagher’s fitness to serve. And now Gallagher is expected to resign from the Navy at the end of this month.
Spencer reportedly tried to resolve the difficult situation between the Pentagon and the White House in a sneaky, deceptive way. Of course, clear communication in this situation would have been nearly impossible, due to the extreme disconnect and chaos between military officials and the White House.
It is entirely possible that Spencer is just an easy target. Somebody had to be forced out in the fallout, right?
But, according to Esper, Spencer’s words in public and his clandestine conversations were contradictory.
In Esper’s words, he lost
“trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor,”
“His public statements did not match up.”
Read Spencer’s letter of resignation here.