WH Interviewing Potential Esper Replacements In Case Trump Boots Pentagon Chief

President Donald Trump speaks during a swearing in ceremony for Mark Esper to be the new Secretary of Defense on July 23, 2019 in the Oval Office of the White House.(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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September 7, 2020 10:12 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s relationship with Defense Secretary Mark Esper has reportedly unraveled to the point where the White House is actively seeking out possible replacements if Trump decides to oust Esper.

NBC News reported on Monday that Trump and White House officials have been in talks with Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie about potentially replacing Esper.

The White House has also informally interviewed several other candidates, according to NBC News, but Wilkie has caught Trump’s eye in recent weeks as a member of the White House’s COVID-19 task force.

Trump has reportedly been itching to oust Esper for months amid their clashes over renaming Confederate-named military bases and the Pentagon chief’s move to slash funding for the Pentagon’s newspaper for its military staff, Stars and Stripes.

However, Trump’s staffers have warned the President against another firing so close to Election Day.

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