US Politics: the next 70 days will be precarious as slew of Pentagon officials resigning after Trump’s dismissal of Esper
The US Defense Department is facing a flurry of resignations after lame-duck President Donald Trump fired Pentagon chef Mark Esper.
The Pentagon’s top policy official James Anderson, the agency’s top intelligence official Joseph Kernan and Esper’s chief of staff Jen Stewart have reportedly resigned.
“I want to thank Dr. Anderson, Admiral Kernan and Jen Stewart for their service to the nation and the Department,” acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said in a statement. “Over their careers each has contributed greatly to the national defense and the future of the Department of Defense. We wish them the best in their next endeavors.”
The resignations “could mark the beginning of a process of gutting the DoD – something that should alarm all Americans,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith said in a statement released after Anderson departed.
“As soon as Former Vice President Biden became President-Elect Biden, President Trump and those loyal to him started to sow chaos and division. It appears that chaos has now reached the Pentagon.”
Concerns were meanwhile growing over Trump’s refusal to concede defeat after his presidential election loss and the use of military to pursue his agenda.
“If this is the beginning of a trend – the president either firing or forcing out national security professionals in order to replace them with people perceived as more loyal to him – then the next 70 days will be precarious at best and downright dangerous at worst,” Smith said. “This confirms what I have been saying for months: The president’s singular obsession with loyalty has severely undermined the competence of our government and made us less safe.”
President was also considering dismissal of CIA chief Gina Haspel.