Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was fired after giving a TV interview where he declared his intention to defy President Trump on the reinstatement of recently pardoned Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. The Navy said they discovered a “private proposal” from Spencer regarding Gallagher.
According to the report from the Washington Post, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper asked for Spencer’s resignation on Sunday, saying he was “deeply troubled by this conduct”.
The “private proposal” pushed by Navy Secretary Richard Spencer allegedly directed White House Officials to not interfere with their new proceedings against Gallagher. He told the officials that, if they agreed, he would allow Gallagher to retire as a SEAL instead of stripping him of his title.
The Post also says that, despite Spencer meeting with Esper multiple times, he never told the Secretary of Defense about his “private proposal”.
“I am deeply troubled by this conduct shown by a senior DOD official,” Esper said in the statement. “Unfortunately, as a result, I have determined that Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to continue in his position. I wish Richard well.”
Over the weekend, Navy Secretary Spencer spoke with Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia and told them he would ignore President Trump’s tweet telling the Navy not to take away Gallagher’s titles and job. Spencer said he did not consider this an “official order.” Spencer denied the reports that he threatened to resign.
Trump’s Tweet read:
“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”
Both Richard Spencer and SEAL commander Rear Admiral Collin Green both threatened to resign if President Trump stopped their “review” into Gallagher following his presidential pardon. It is not clear if Admiral Green will keep his job after threatening to defy the President’s orders.