Pentagon: Def Sec Has Fired Navy Secretary For ‘Lack of Candor’ On Eddie Gallagher Case, SEAL Will Keep Trident Pin

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The Pentagon officially announced this afternoon that Defense Secretary Mark Esper has asked Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to resign for not telling him that he had a private conversation with the White House over the taking away of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s Navy SEAL Trident pin. Good. Insubordination like this is simply inexcusable.

“Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper has asked for the resignation of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer after losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor over conversations with the White House involving the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher,” the Pentagon’s chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Sunday. You just knew this was coming after Spencer spoke out against Trump’s pardoning Gallagher.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper (center) fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer (right) Sunday over his mishandling of the highly controversial war crimes case involving Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.

From Breitbart:

“Trump had intervened in recent weeks to restore Gallagher’s rank, which was reduced by the Navy after he was convicted of taking a photo with a deceased Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighter.

“The Navy then announced it would launch a review board to consider whether to take away Gallagher’s Trident pin, essentially kicking him out of the Navy SEALs. Trump tweeted that the Navy would do no such thing, but Spencer said it would proceed until receiving an official order from the president, which he would follow.

“The Pentagon said in its statement that after Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley spoke with President Trump on Friday regarding Gallagher’s case, Esper learned that “Spencer had previously and privately proposed to the White House — contrary to Spencer’s public position — to restore Gallagher’s rank and allow him to retire with his Trident pin.”

“When recently asked by Secretary Esper, Secretary Spencer confirmed that despite multiple conversations on the Gallagher matter, Secretary Esper was never informed by Secretary Spencer of his private proposal,” Hoffman said.

“Hoffman also announced that Esper has directed that Gallagher retain his Trident pin and that Navy Under Secretary Thomas Modley would now be acting Navy secretary.

“Hoffman said:

Secretary Esper’s position with regard to UCMJ, disciplinary, and fitness for duty actions has always been that the process should be allowed to play itself out objectively and deliberately, in fairness to all parties. However, at this point, given the events of the last few days, Secretary Esper has directed that Gallagher retain his Trident pin. Secretary Esper will meet with Navy Under Secretary (now Acting Secretary) Thomas Modley and the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday on Monday morning to discuss the way ahead.

“The Pentagon statement included a quote from Esper: “I am deeply troubled by this conduct shown by a senior DOD official. Unfortunately, as a result, I have determined that Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to continue in his position. I wish Richard well.”

“Esper has proposed that Ambassador Kenneth Braithwaite, current U.S. Ambassador to Norway and a retired Navy Rear Admiral, be considered as the next Secretary of the Navy, the statement said.”

Trump tweeted on firing Spencer. I don’t blame him in the least. No one has a higher regard for the military than President Trump and this must have greatly offended him and his sense of decorum.

“Spencer’s ousting was not a consequence of standing up for military justice. It was for dishonesty and undermining the military justice system,” the senior U.S. official told Fox News. He was fired for “lack of candor,” Esper added. Just wow.

Gallagher’s attorneys have accused the Navy of trying to remove the SEAL designation in retaliation for Trump’s decision to restore his rank. Gallagher filed a complaint with the inspector general accusing Rear Adm. Collin Green, the Naval Special Warfare commander, of insubordination for defying Trump’s actions. Trump listened to him and the fallout continues as the president defends the Navy SEAL.

Speaking earlier Sunday on “Fox & Friends,” Gallagher repeated his argument that the Navy was acting in retaliation. “They could have taken my Trident at any time they wanted,” he said. “Now they’re trying to take it after the president restored my rank.” Gallagher said he wanted to be allowed to retire on Nov. 30 “with all the honors that I’ve earned, get back to my family.” And that is the way it should be.

Green also notified three SEAL officers who oversaw Gallagher during the deployment — Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch, Lt. Jacob Portier and Lt. Thomas MacNeil — that they are also being reviewed, according to U.S. officials. Removing their Trident pins means they will no longer be SEALs but could remain in the Navy. A Navy source told Fox News that they “can’t see a world where they go forward” with the other three SEALS peer review board hearing, following the Gallagher fiasco. “We need to move on.” Yes, they do need to move on and stop this mutinous behavior.

Sources: Breitbart, Fox News, RedState, The Daily Mail, The RightScoop, Twitchy, The Epoch Times

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