Former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who was ousted after he opposed President Donald Trump's intervention in the discipline of a Navy SEAL accused of murder, is endorsing former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg for president, NBC News is reporting.
"I am proud to endorse Mike Bloomberg for president of the United States. … He will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and uphold the Uniform Code of Military Justice," he said.
"Mike will honor the service and ensure the equal treatment of all women and men in uniform. He also will respect the advice of military advisers."
NBC News noted Spencer is the first Trump political appointee to endorse one of the president's potential political opponents.
Spencer departed the administration in November 2019 after Defense Secretary Mark Esper asked for his resignation.
Three days later in a Washington Post column, he called Trump's intervention in the case of Navy Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher "shocking" and unprecedented.
Gallagher had been acquitted of murdering an Iraqi civilian but was convicted of posing with the corpse of an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter in Iraq. The military jury said he should be demoted.
Trump ordered Spencer to restore Gallagher's rank.
And on Nov. 21, Trump tweeted that Gallagher should not be stripped of his SEAL trident insignia.
Spencer's official endorsement of Bloomberg is set to come Friday during an appearance with the candidate in Norfolk, Virginia.
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