President Trump on Monday announced that Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been 'terminated' - and that the "highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center," Christopher C. Miller, will serve as 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.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2020
Esper's departure had been telegraphed for some time, with the Pentagon Chief going so far as to draft a resignation letter (albeit a common practice ahead of a potential presidential transition).
As we noted last Thursday, Esper was expected to be pushed out following the election. This also after protests and riots broke out on American streets through the summer. Esper reportedly strongly opposed Trump efforts to send active duty troops to hot spots that had seen widespread rioting and looting.
Esper had also been attempting to rename all US military bases bearing the names of Confederate leaders - such as Fort Bragg, Fort Hood and eight other Army posts - a move opposed by President Trump.
"As his tenure may be coming to an end, Esper is helping members of Congress draft legislation that will strip names of Confederate leaders from military bases in a move that could put him further at odds with President Donald Trump," NBC wrote last week.
Trump supporters have welcomed the move.
Good riddance.— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) November 9, 2020
Go Go Go! Americans keep praying for our President! 🇺🇸— Kaya Jones (@KayaJones) November 9, 2020