NBC News reports that Defense Secretary Mike Esper has fired Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer on Sunday.
"Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper has asked for the resignation of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer after losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor over conversations with the White House involving the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher," the Defense Department said in a statement Sunday, according to NPR.
Spencer's firing comes after President Donald Trump reversed a decision by Spencer to remove Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher from the Navy SEALs. Trump has pardoned Gallagher and two other other military officers of war crime murder charges the week before, as TheBlaze previously reported.
Trump also tweeted on Thursday that the SEAL would retain the gold Trident insignia, a sign that he retained his status as a member of the elite military unit.
The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very… https://t.co/bnsXBbbApf— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1574343021.0
"I was not pleased with the way that Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's trial was handled by the Navy. He was treated very badly but, despite this, was completely exonerated on all major charges. I then restored Eddie's rank," the president tweeted on Sunday.
Trump thanks Spencer 'for his service & commitment'
The president also took to Twitter to communicate the personnel changes at the Navy.
"Therefore, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer's services have been terminated by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. I thank Richard for his service & commitment," added Trump.
The nation's 45th commander in chief added that he has already identified Spencer's replacement. "Admiral and now Ambassador to Norway Ken Braithwaite will be nominated by me to be the new Secretary of the Navy. A man of great achievement and success, I know Ken will do an outstanding job!"
Acknowledged his termination
In a letter to Trump, Spencer recognized that he had been fired. According to NBC News, Spencer told the president he needed a Navy secretary "who is aligned with his vision."
"Unfortunately, it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me," Spencer wrote in his letter.
"In regards to the key principle of good order and discipline, I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States," he said.