Donald Trump fires Defence Secretary Mark Esper: US President Donald Trump has fired Defence Secretary Mark Esper.
“Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service,” President Trump said on Twitter.
The Pentagon had no immediate comment.
Announcing this on Twitter, Mr Trump said Director of National Counterterrorism Center Christopher Miller will assume the charges of the Acting Defence Secreatray immediately.
Christopher Charles Miller serving as the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, a role to which he was confirmed by the Senate by voice vote on August 6, 2020.
He was named Acting Secretary of Defense by President Donald Trump on November 9, 2020, following Trump’s firing of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
In his tweets, the President said, Christopher Miller will do a great job. Thanking Mark ESper for his service, Trump said he has been terminated.
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..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2020
Donald Trump fires Defence Secretary Mark Esper Mr. Esper angered Mr. Trump particularly by opposing Mr. Trump’s threat to use active duty troops to suppress street protests over racial injustice in the United States during the summer.
Sources said that Mr. Esper also disagreed with Mr. Trump’s dismissive attitude toward the NATO alliance.
Mr Trump has so far not conceded the US election to President-elect Joe Biden, and has vowed to challenge the projected result in court. In the weeks before Mr Biden takes office on 20 January, Mr Trump is still empowered to make decisions.
Esper came into the job saying his priorities were to modernize the Pentagon and balance the “growing threats” posed by China and Russia, and regional threats by Iran and North Korea. He said he would “maintain pressure” on terrorist groups, and work to upgrade weapons systems.
He served in the Army for more than 20 years, including 10 on active duty, before becoming a lobbyist. Esper was defense contractor Raytheon’s vice president of government relations.