Moscow, Nov 25 US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was fired, while US Ambassador to Norway Ken Braithwaite would be nominated to this post. On Sunday, media reported that US Defense Secretary Mark Esper had asked for the resignation of Spencer after losing confidence in him over a controversial case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who had been earlier convicted of war crimes in Iraq. Esper reportedly asked for Spencer’s resignation after learning that the Navy secretary had secretly proposed to the White House to not interfere with proceedings against Gallagher and promised that thus Gallagher would be able to retire without losing his status of a SEAL. At the same time, Spencer’s position on this issue was different from that which he expressed publicly.
“Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer’s services have been terminated by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. I thank Richard for his service & commitment. Eddie will retire peacefully with all of the honors that he has earned … Admiral and now Ambassador to Norway Ken Braithwaite will be nominated by me to be the new Secretary of the Navy. A man of great achievement and success, I know Ken will do an outstanding job!” Trump said on Twitter.
Gallagher had been demoted in rank following a July conviction for posing in a photo with the body of a dead terrorist during a 2017 deployment in Iraq. He was acquitted of premeditated murder for allegedly killing the wounded captive. He was also acquitted of other charges, including shooting at civilians in Iraq. Earlier this month, Trump ordered that the Navy restore Gallagher’s status.