After Esper firing, White House moves Trump loyalists into key Pentagon jobs

By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A day after President Donald Trump fired his defense secretary, the White House installed a Trump loyalist in a key Pentagon post on Tuesday and promoted another one who has falsely called former President Barack Obama a terrorist. Trump announced his dismissal of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Twitter on Monday, signaling he may use his final months in office to settle scores within his administration. But the further reshuffling at the Pentagon is raising concern among Democrats about whether U.S.

Reuters November 11, 2020 05:10:26 IST
After Esper firing, White House moves Trump loyalists into key Pentagon jobs

After Esper firing White House moves Trump loyalists into key Pentagon jobs

By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A day after President Donald Trump fired his defense secretary, the White House installed a Trump loyalist in a key Pentagon post on Tuesday and promoted another one who has falsely called former President Barack Obama a terrorist.

Trump announced his dismissal of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Twitter on Monday, signaling he may use his final months in office to settle scores within his administration.

But the further reshuffling at the Pentagon is raising concern among Democrats about whether U.S. national security policy may become unsettled as Republican Trump exits office.

It could also potentially make it easier for Trump to execute policies that Esper had opposed, such as deploying active duty troops to suppress street protests in the United States.

Trump's move sent a dangerous message to America's adversaries and dimmed hopes for an orderly transition as Democratic President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, Democrats said.

"It is hard to overstate just how dangerous high-level turnover at the Department of Defense is during a period of presidential transition," said Representative Adam Smith, the Democrat who leads the House Armed Services Committee.

Esper was replaced by Christopher Miller, who had been the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. The Pentagon said Kash Patel, who was the top counter-terrorism adviser on the White House National Security Council, would be Miller's chief of staff.

Patel worked as a top aide to Representative Devin Nunes, the pro-Trump Republican who chaired the House Intelligence Committee and now is its top minority member. While working for Nunes, Patel helped produce a memo accusing the FBI and Department of Justice of bias against Trump. 

In the wake of Esper's departure, the Pentagon's top policy adviser resigned, allowing that post to be filled by Anthony Tata, a retired Army brigadier general who has called Obama "a terrorist leader."

Tata failed to secure a Senate confirmation hearing in August and was performing the duties of the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.

The reshuffle raises the possibility that Trump will try to make good on still unfulfilled campaign pledges before Jan. 20, when Biden takes office. Those include potentially ordering a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat who served as a senior Pentagon official in the Obama administration, called on Miller to put national security interests ahead of loyalty to Trump, saying "the country and the military he has dedicated his life to are counting on him to do the right thing."

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Mary Milliken and Grant McCool)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Global Markets: Stocks ascend to record on economic recovery, vaccine outlook
Business

Global Markets: Stocks ascend to record on economic recovery, vaccine outlook

By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global stocks hit a record and oil prices jumped on Monday as the newest positive data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine and signs of economic recovery in Asia boosted sentiment. U.S. stocks advanced, with the Dow Industrials setting a record as it neared the 30,000 mark for the first time, after pharma company Moderna said its prospective vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing the illness, which has crushed economies across the globe

Airbnb IPO filing shows third-quarter earnings beating virus with cost cuts, new focus
Business

Airbnb IPO filing shows third-quarter earnings beating virus with cost cuts, new focus

By Anirban Sen and Joshua Franklin (Reuters) - Airbnb Inc's initial public offering (IPO) registration showed on Monday that the home rental startup turned a profit in the third quarter despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as it gears up for one of the most anticipated stock market debuts in recent years. The filing, published ahead of Airbnb's anticipated stock market debut in December, showed a dramatic recovery in its fortunes, after the coronavirus outbreak dragged down its core home rental business during the first half of the year. The slump forced it to lay off 25% of its workforce in May, suspend marketing activities for the year and seek $2 billion (£1.5 billion) emergency funding from investors, including Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, at a valuation of $18 billion

Biden says U.S., allies need to set global trade rules to counter China's influence
Business

Biden says U.S., allies need to set global trade rules to counter China's influence

By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said on Monday the United States needed to negotiate with allies to set global trading rules to counter China's growing influence but declined to say whether he would join a new China-backed Asian trade pact signed on Sunday.