Donald Trump cannot stand dissent.
Courtesy of CNN:
President Donald Trump came close to firing Secretary of Defense Mark Esper last week following their dispute over Trump’s threat to use active-duty troops to quell large-scale protests across the United States, several officials told The Wall Street Journal.
The officials told the Journal that allies and advisers on Capitol Hill talked Trump out of the move after he asked their opinion about the disagreement. Esper, some of the officials said, had made his own preparations to resign — including preparing a resignation letter — but was convinced by aides not to go forward with it.
The revelations underscore the shaky ground Esper has been on since declaring last week that active-duty troops should be used in a law enforcement role only as a last resort.
Speaking from the Pentagon briefing room podium, Esper noted that “we are not in one of those situations now,” distancing himself from Trump’s threat to deploy the military to enforce order.
“The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” he told reporters, referring to an 1807 law that allows a president to deploy the US military to suppress civil disorder.
CNN previously reported that Esper’s comments went over poorly at the White House, where his standing was already viewed as tenuous, multiple people familiar with the matter said.
In a briefing last week, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany would not directly answer whether Trump still had confidence in Esper, saying instead, “As of right now, Secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper.”
Yeah, how dare the Secretary of Defense say out loud that breaking the law to use American forces to control American citizens is not going to happen.
I think we can all safely bet that Esper’s days are numbered,
If past is prologue Trump will wait for the heat to die down and then have him fired on a Friday or during some big news event when the press is distracted.
But I would suggest that there is no way that he is sticking around for long.