Ousted Navy Secretary Says Trump Has ‘Very Little Understanding’ Of ‘Fighting Ethically’

Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on April 9, 2019. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
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November 29, 2019 11:37 a.m.

In a Washington Post op-ed published on Wednesday night, former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer torched President Donald Trump for his repeated interference in the Eddie Gallagher case.

In the op-ed, Spencer blasts Trump’s “shocking and unprecedented intervention” in the infamous case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was accused of several war crimes before ultimately being convicted of posing with the corpse of an ISIS fighter.

“It was also a reminder that the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices,” Spencer wrote.

The former Pentagon leader also put forth a hunch as to why Trump had repeatedly meddled in Gallagher’s case.

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“I came to believe that Trump’s interest in the case stemmed partly from the way the defendant’s lawyers and others had worked to keep it front and center in the media,” Spencer wrote.

The former Navy secretary admitted that he misstepped by trying to prevent Trump’s further involvement in the case without consulting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

“That was, I see in retrospect, a mistake for which I am solely responsible,” he wrote.

Esper fired Spencer on Sunday after days of turmoil over Trump’s efforts to override the Pentagon’s decisions and allow Gallagher to both remain in the Navy SEALs and keep the prized Trident Pin that symbolizes one’s membership of the elite forces.

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