Outgoing US President Donald Trump and Mark Esper (File Photo, Image credit: India Today)

Trump’s presidency started with sacking of NSA, ended with ouster of Defence chief

In a rare move the outgoing US President Donald Trump on Tuesday sacked his Defence Secretary Mark Esper for being not loyal enough towards him. The move came as a big surprise as perhaps never in the history the President after being voted out of power sacked such a high ranking official.

Mark Esper has been replaced by Christopher C. Miller who was till now serving as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Trump has given no reason for the sacking of the Defence chief but at the same time he thanked him for the service he rendered. Mr. Miller will be the Acting Secretary of Defence.

It needs to be mentioned that, even after the recent results of the Presidential polls, Mr Trump has not conceded defeat and has said that he will challenge the result in the US Supreme Court.

Mr. Esper is not the first Defense Secretary to be sacked from office during the Trump Administration. Earlier Mr. Jim Mattis, who served for 44 years in the US Navy and later went on to become the Defense Secretary, was sacked on January 1, 2019 over disagreement on some issues with the President. Actually, in December 2018, Mr. Mattis after not being able to convince the President to reconsider his decision to pull out American troops from Syria had offered his resignation due in February 2019. The President only accelerated that move a bit earlier.

The list of officials ousted from their positions during the Trump Administration does not end here. Mr. Trump had fired the then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in March 2018 after their relationship worsened. He was replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo who is still serving. It needs to be stated that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn also rendered his resignation just 22 days after he was appointed to the post. He was appointed on January 22, 2017 by the new Trump Administration but resigned on February 13 after the information appeared that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with the Russian envoy to the US.

Others who have resigned or were shown the door include White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

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