Defense Secretary Mark Esper 'ready to resign & is working to REMOVE names of Confederate generals from military bases'November 8, 2020
DEFENSE Secretary Mark Esper has prepared a letter of resignation and is working to remove names of Confederate generals from military bases if Donald Trump decided to fire him after election results.
According to NBC, several defense officials have confirmed Esper’s pre-written resignation letter and said the defense secretary has long expected to be pushed out after the election.
However, it will be up to the president to decide whether to accept the resignation letters and the process usually occurs after the election results are clear.
As part of his departure, Esper is helping members of Congress draft up a legislation that will strip names of Confederate leaders from military bases in a move that could put him further at odds with President Trump.
Esper considered issuing a directive that would order the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force to change the names in their services – nonetheless the order could be overturned by Trump.
He now plans to work with Congress to put language in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, so the name changes will be written into law.
According to officials, Esper’s plans were no secret within the Pentagon and claimed he would like to stay at his position as long as he can.
However, his relationship with Trump has turned sour to the point that he is aware that staying at his position might not be possible after the election.
Chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman tweeted Wednesday that “Secretary of Defense Esper has no plans to resign, nor has he been asked to submit a letter of resignation.
“He continues to serve the nation as the Secretary of Defense at the pleasure of the President and is working on the irreversible implementation of the National Defense Strategy,” he added.
According to officials, this week Esper provided a written framework to Pentagon leaders for renaming installations, and possible even ships and street names on bases that honor Confederate generals or leaders.
The framework could suggest that the NDAA could say that military installations cannot be named after someone who has betrayed the US or committed a felony.
Instead must be named after people who have met certain criteria, like having earned a Medal of Honor or Silver Star or achieving the rank of general.
The NDAA, which outlines the military’s budget and policies, is expected to be passed during the lame-duck session of Congress in coming weeks, and Trump would have to sign it for it to become law.
If Esper leaves the job and Trump chooses not to install an interim replacement, Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist would serve in the role in an acting capacity until an official replacement is found by the winner of the election.
Officials believe Esper wants to avoid becoming the latest in a long line of top administration officials to be fired after breaking with Trump privately or publicly.
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