Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | trump | esper | protests

Trump Came Close to Firing Defense Sec. Esper

esper in a black suit and white shirt speaking in front of an american flag
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper 

Tuesday, 09 June 2020 06:50 PM

President Donald Trump almost fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper last week after the secretary publicly disagreed with the president on the use of military troops to quell violent protests, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Trump was talked out of firing Esper by advisers and Capitol Hill allies, according to the Journal, quoting "several officials." Neither the White House nor the Pentagon would give official comment.

Trump was reportedly intent on firing Esper, his fourth defense secretary, after he stated publicly he had not known a walk across Lafayette Park with Trump and other administration officials was for the purpose of Trump having a photo op holding a Bible in front of a church damaged by protesters.

Officials told the Journal that Trump was set to fire Esper that day, but spoke to advisers including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, outside adviser David Urban, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, and was advised against it.

Some advised Trump against the move because he didn't need a shakeup in his cabinet during an election year and that Esper has been solidly behind him on other issues, such as the troop drawdown in Afghanistan and abandoning the Open Skies Treaty with Russia.

Some conservative House members did, however, advise Trump to fire Esper.

Esper himself, aware of the president's displeasure was prepared to craft a letter of resignation, but was talked out of it. The two met at the White House for a previously scheduled meeting that was heated, but they eventually came to terms, according to the report.

"It was a bad day, the president was close to losing confidence in him," one administration official was quoted as saying. "Ultimately, he decided to keep him in place."

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President Donald Trump almost fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper last week after the secretary publicly disagreed with the president on the use of military troops to quell violent protests, The Wall Street Journal reports. ...
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2020-50-09
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 06:50 PM
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