The only real surprising part is that it took him so long to do so.
It all started back in June when rioters had begun burning down American cities, and pulling down historical statues.
Trump was weighing his options when it became clear that certain of the blue states had no intention of quelling the violence, and the violence came right to the heart of DC, including an attempt to burn down a landmark historical church beside La Fayette Park.
Among those options was a perfectly legal option that had been used by many presidents before him to deal with situations like this one, and even many that were less severe. But the media was so hellbent on playing the Trump-is-tyrant narrative that when his military advisors PUBLICLY opposed his use of it, he would be giving his innumerable critics ammunition against him if he dared use this valid option.
The tension came to a head when Esper publicly broke with Trump during a hastily called briefing at the Pentagon. The defense chief said he didn’t support the president invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 to quell demonstrations that began after the death of George Floyd.
“I’ve always believed and continue to believe that the National Guard is best suited for performing domestic support to civil authorities in these situations, in support of local law enforcement. I say this not only as secretary of defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard,” Esper said.
“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,” he added.
According to some officials, Esper’s comments were not vetted by the administration prior to the Pentagon news conference, and officials in the White House were caught off guard.
“It was a bad day. The president was close to losing confidence in him,” according to an official in the administration. “Ultimately, he decided to keep him in place.” —WashingtonExaminer
The left got a lot of mileage out of this public repudiation of Trump by his own advisors. And if these public statements hadn’t so undermined his authority to do so, the problems that plagued ‘CHAZ/CHOP’ in Seattle, or the endless riots in Portland may have been dealt with swiftly rather than dragging on over months.
Perhaps this was ‘revenge’ over an incident a little earlier… when Trump’s Syria strategy of troop draw-down was not to Esper’s liking.
Whatever the reason, we all received a tweet announcing the latest staffing change from Trump’s own Twitter account:
…Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2020
Trump must have liked most of the work Esper did because the tweet was not disparaging as some other of his termination tweets have been.
Set to take Esper’s place is Christopher Miller.
Miller is a former decorated Army Special Forces officer and Pentagon official with a deep background in counterterrorism and special operations.
Soon after arriving at the Pentagon Monday, Miller met with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and other top staff to give them his initial guidance and to not expect “significant changes at this time,” a senior defense official told CNN.
…Miller became the director of the National Counterterrorism Center in August following a bipartisan confirmation vote in the Senate, a vote Trump touted when naming him as the acting head of the Pentagon, bypassing the deputy secretary of defense who would normally take over on an acting capacity should the defense secretary be fired.
Prior to leaving the NCTC, Miller was working at the Pentagon as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism.
Before his most recent tour at the Pentagon, Miller was working in the Trump White House, serving from 2018-2019 as the as the special assistant to the President and senior director for counterterrorism and transnational threats at the National Security Council.
Officials say Miller was a driving force in some of the President’s anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah policies, as well as counterterrorism efforts linked to the wars in Syria and Iraq. –CNN
Miller also served in the Army for 27 years.