Richard Spencer, the ousted Secretary of the Navy, said Monday that he was compelled to try to counteract President Donald Trump’s intervention in the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher to “preserve the resiliency of the naval institution.”
According to CBS News, he spoke with White House counsel Pat Cipollone on November 15 to strike a bargain, after Trump promoted Gallagher who was demoted as punishment for posing with an ISIS fighter’s corpse while in Iraq. Spencer proposed that Gallagher be allowed to retire as a SEAL in exchange for Trump butting out of the military review process.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that he lost confidence in Spencer for forging the deal behind his back.
“I will take the bad on me, for not letting him know I did that,” Spencer said. “But as far as I was concerned, at that point, the President understood the deal. Arguably, he doesn’t have to deal with anyone.”
Cipollone rejected the deal, saying that Trump was certainly going to be involved.
Spencer blasted Trump in his outgoing letter.
“…I no longer share the same understanding as the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline,” he wrote. “I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
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