Several of the Pentagon’s top officials are mulling when it might be time to call it quits over President Trump’s lack of respect for the military’s chain of command, Politico reported.
According to two senior officials who spoke to Politico, the officials felt this way even before Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was pushed out this weekend. Spencer quit after the defense secretary dinged him for not properly handling Trump’s demand that the Navy cancel its disciplinary hearing for Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who was acquitted of murder, but convicted of posing with a corpse of a militant in Iraq.
“There’s a sense of dejection by senior leaders in the Pentagon, that the President and the secretary of defense are going to side with the loudmouths at Fox News against the reasoned opposition of senior military professionals,” another Pentagon official told Politico. “That’s the sense in a nutshell.”
The Spencer incident was just the latest point of tension between Pentagon leaders and Trump that spilled out into the open. Other past sore spots include Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria, the ban on transgender people serving in the military, Defense Department funding being sent to the border to build Trump’s border wall and the scandal involving the order to cover the name on the U.S.S. John McCain destroyer in Japan last year.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned in December over Trump’s push to withdraw from Syria and sources who spoke to Politico believe others will follow suit, including Rear Adm. Collin Green, who oversees the Navy SEALS. Many speculate he will follow Spencer’s departure, according to Politico.