Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said on Friday that the U.S. military ”remains strong” after President Donald Trump suddenly fired his predecessor last week, causing several top Pentagon officials to resign.
”I want to assure the American public and our allies and partners that the Department of Defense remains strong and continues its vital work of protecting our homeland, our people and our interests around the world,” Miller said on Friday, according to The Hill.
Trump fired former Defense Secretary Mark Esper in a tweet just days after multiple news networks called the 2020 presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden. Esper’s departure led to the resignations of the department’s top policy official James Anderson, top intelligence official Joseph Kernan, Esper’s chief of staff Jen Stewart, and deputy chief of staff Alexis Ross.
”It is hard to overstate just how dangerous high-level turnover at the Department of Defense is during a period of presidential transition,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., said in a statement earlier this week, according to Defense News.
”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,” he added.
“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. It is an insult to the American people to hamstring government, particularly during a period of presidential transition.”
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