President Donald Trump has fired Mark Esper, the defense secretary who refused to deploy active-service military troops against Black Lives Matter protesters on the streets of American cities.
Esper was also cooperating with Congress on legislation to rename US army bases named after Confederate generals.
Trump announced that Esper has been “terminated” as defense secretary said Christopher C. Miller will be acting boss at the Pentagon in a statement posted on Twitter.
The announcement came about five months after Trump and Esper had a public break over how to handle civil unrest in America’s cities.
An administration official said the directors of the FBI and the CIA could be next.
Miller has been serving as director of the National Counterterrorism Center and he previously spent 31 years in the U.S. Army, and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism.
In that role, he was responsible for overseeing the employment of special operations forces in counterterrorism as well as personnel recovery and hostage issues.
Miller arrived at the Pentagon on Monday amid questions about the legality of his appointment.
By law, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist should be acting secretary in the event of a sudden vacancy at the top.
Furthermore, the law requires that a secretary of defense to have been out of active duty military service for seven years. Miller, a former Green Beret, only left the military in 2014.
Trump is suspected of plotting to remain in office despite his apparent loss to former Vice President Joe Biden in the general election.
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