Trump ordered Pentagon to let convicted Navy SEAL keep elite status , President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to let , a Navy SEAL convicted of battlefield misconduct keep his Trident pin designating him as a member of the elite force, instead of holding a review board, his defense secretary said on Monday.
The disclosure by Mark Esper illustrates how Trump intervened repeatedly in the case of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, Trump on Sunday gave a formal order to halt the military’s plans .Esper said he had been in favor of following the regular processes but stressed that, as president,
Trump had “every right, authority and privilege to do what he wants to do.” Trump restored his rank earlier this month, when he also pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan. “It signals to people that they can operate outside the rule of law and the Geneva Convention,” said Senator Jack Reed,
The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Esper’s comments to a gathering of Pentagon reporters were his first since he fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer on Sunday over his handling of Gallagher case.
“We have to have good order and discipline. It’s the backbone of what we do,” he said. Trump defended himself on Monday, saying he was sticking up for “warriors” and defending the military. Esper gave new details on Monday about why he fired Spencer,
Sthe Navy chief had sought to cut a side deal with the White House that was “contrary to what we had agreed to and contrary to Secretary Spencer’s public position,” in which he appeared to favor allowing the military justice process to go ahead.