Pentagon chief fires Navy secretary over SEAL controversy

Politics
Richard Spencer

In this July 16, 2019, photo, acting Defense Secretary Richard Spencer listens during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Secretary of the U.S. Navy Spencer said Saturday, Nov. 23, he doesn’t consider a tweet by President Donald Trump an order and would need a formal order to stop a review of Edward Gallagher, a sailor who could lose his status as a Navy Seal. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Defense Secretary Mark Esper has fired the secretary of the Navy in connection with the controversy over a SEAL whose case has been championed by President Donald Trump.

A Pentagon spokesman says in a statement Sunday that Esper has lost trust and confidence in Navy Secretary Richard Spencer “regarding his lack of candor” over conversations with the White House involving the handling of the SEAL case.

Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman says Spencer submitted his resignation at Esper’s request. Esper has also recommended to Trump a replacement.

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