President Trump dismissed Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday, saying in a Twitter post that he had “terminated” his Pentagon chief and replaced him with a new acting secretary, signaling the start of a shake-up in the remaining weeks of the Trump administration.
The acting secretary appointed by Mr. Trump is Christopher Miller, who had just become the director of the National Counterterrorism Center in August after being confirmed by the Senate.
Mr. Miller on Monday walked into the Pentagon’s River Entrance, used by high-ranking officials, about an hour after the president’s tweet after arriving in a red Ford sedan, joking that he had almost tripped on the Pentagon’s first step.
Mr. Trump, who hasn’t conceded the presidential election to victor Joe Biden, nominated Mr. Esper last year as his fourth defense secretary, but soured on him after a disagreement earlier this year over Mr. Trump’s interest in using U.S. troops to restore order during racial justice protests. Mr. Esper didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Esper was one of several top administration officials and Trump appointees to draw the wrath of the president. Mr. Trump also has openly speculated about firing Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, with whom he has disagreed on a number of issues from Russian election interference to the threat posed by left-wing protesters and allegations of voter fraud.
Read More: Trump Fires Mark Esper as Defense Secretary