Secretary of Defense Mark Esper fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer due to the latter’s attempts to strike a deal with the White House over Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, the man who posed next to a dead body of an ISIS terrorist.

Esper discovered Spencer’s actions after the fact, which made him lose faith and confidence in Spencer.

President Donald Trump and the Pentagon have butted heads over Gallagher after a jury found him not guilty of murder and attempted murder of an ISIS terrorist in Iraq.

The jury found “him guilty of the seventh charge, posing for a photo with a casualty, considered the least egregious of the crimes, which carries a maximum prison sentence of four months.”

The Navy demoted Gallagher after his conviction, but Trump “restored Gallagher’s rank” back to chief petty officer. He also told the Navy to “halt its internal review of Gallagher’s actions from 2017.”

On Friday, Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley tried to persuade Trump “to allow the Trident review board to go forward.”

But then Esper discovered Spencer already spoke to Trump about Gallagher. From The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Spencer told The Wall Street Journal that he had tried to make a deal in which President Trump would allow the Navy to conduct an internal review of Chief Edward Gallagher, who would then be allowed to retire with his Trident pin, the revered symbol of his membership in the elite commando force. But Mr. Esper only learned of these efforts after the fact, and thus lost confidence in Mr. Spencer, according to Pentagon officials.

“I am deeply troubled by this conduct shown by a senior DOD official,” Mr. Esper said in a statement. “Unfortunately, as a result I have determined that Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to continue in his position. I wish Richard well.”

A senior official explained Esper fired Spencer for “lack of candor” and “dishonesty and undermining the military justice system.”

Trump will nominate US Ambassador to Norway Kenneth Braithwaite, a retired Navy rear admiral, for the Navy secretary post after Esper recommended him.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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