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Thursday, December 03, 2020

Trump says he has fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Esper angered Trump particularly by opposing his threat to use active duty troops to suppress street protests over racial injustice in the United States during the summer.

By: Reuters | Washington | Updated: November 10, 2020 12:45:21 am
Mark Esper, Donald trump, trumo fires defense secy, Christopher Miller, US presidential election, indian expressEsper disagreed with Trump's dismissive attitude toward the NATO alliance, sources said. (File photo: AP)

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he had “terminated” Defense Secretary Mark Esper, appearing to use his final months in office after his November 3 election defeat to settle scores within his
administration.

Trump, who publicly split with Esper in recent months over a range of issues, said on Twitter that Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will become acting secretary of defense. The Senate would be highly unlikely to confirm any new nominee before Trump leaves office in
January.

“Mark Esper has been terminated,” Trump said 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.”

The Pentagon had no immediate comment.

Esper had long been preparing for the prospect of his resignation or dismissal following the Nov. 3 election, particularly if Trump were to win a second term in office, sources said. Trump has steadfastly refused to acknowledge his election loss. Esper angered Trump particularly by opposing Trump’s threat
to use active duty troops to suppress street protests over racial injustice in the United States during the summer. Esper also disagreed with Trump’s dismissive attitude toward the NATO alliance, sources said.

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