The president said Monday that he has named Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as his acting replacement.
“I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately…..Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”
…Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2020
Trump’s action signaled potentially months of turmoil during the presidential transition period, with other administration figures, including FBI director Christopher Wray and even Attorney General William Barr, reportedly cited as the source of the president’s unhappiness.
The president has not conceded the election, and has made unfounded and false claims about fraudulent voting and that another term was being stolen from him.
Trump was unhappy with Esper, as there were reports that he was preparing a resignation letter. In June, Esper tried to distance himself from involvement in Trump’s now infamous walk across Lafayette Park after protesters were cleared, with authorities using tear gas and other means to force demonstrators to leave.
Related Deadline Video:
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.