Trump fires defence secretary Esper
FILE – In this March 18, 2020, file photo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks as President Donald Trump listens during press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House in Washington. The government’s $3 trillion effort to rescue the economy from the coronavirus crisis is stirring worry at the Pentagon. Bulging federal deficits may force a reversal of years of big defense spending gains and threaten prized projects like the rebuilding of the nation’s arsenal of nuclear weapons. Esper says the sudden burst of emergency spending to prop up a stalled economy is bringing the Pentagon closer to a point where it will have to shed older weapons faster and tighten its belt. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

President Donald Trump on Monday announced by tweet that he had fired his defense secretary Mark Esper, further destabilizing a government already navigating Trump’s refusal to concede election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.

“Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service,” Trump said on Twitter, announcing his replacement by Christopher Miller, the current head of the National Counterterrorism Center.

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The firing of Esper, who had clashed with Trump over his suggestion of using military personnel to quash civic unrest, comes a week after the US presidential election.

Trump, who is pursuing so far flimsy claims of election fraud in the courts, has only until January 20 before he has to leave office and Biden takes over.

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