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US Fired Navy secretary defends handling of controversial SEAL case

03:45  26 november  2019
03:45  26 november  2019 Source:   cbsnews.com

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Ousted Navy Secretary Richard Spencer defends handling of Navy SEAL case . Washington — Richard Spencer, the former secretary of the Navy , said he was fired before he could resign over the president's decision to intervene in an internal review of a Navy SEAL convicted of posing with the

Richard Spencer’s ousting is latest twist in saga over Edward Gallagher, who had Trump’s backing.

Washington — Richard Spencer, the former secretary of the Navy, said he was fired before he could resign over the president's decision to intervene in an internal review of a Navy SEAL convicted of posing with the corpse, and downplayed a supposed backchannel offer to the White House that served as the justification for his ouster.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Secretary Of The Navy Richard Spencer Testifies To The Senate Armed Services Committee © Alex Edelman / Getty Images Secretary Of The Navy Richard Spencer Testifies To The Senate Armed Services Committee

"I never threatened to resign. I do. I don't threaten," Spencer told CBS News correspondent David Martin after leaving the Pentagon on Monday. "I got fired."

Pentagon chief asks for Navy secretary’s resignation over private proposal in Navy SEAL’s case

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Secretary of Defense Mark Esper asked Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to resign on Sunday after the Pentagon chief lost confidence in how Spencer "The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin," Trump tweeted last week. "This case was handled

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has been fired over his handling of the case of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who was tried on war crimes charges earlier this

Spencer stepped down at the request of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday amid an ongoing controversy over Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, whose case attracted President Trump's attention.

Esper told reporters Monday that he fired Spencer after "losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor." He accused Spencer of secretly proposing a deal to the White House that would allow Gallagher to retire and retain his Trident pin, which denotes his status as a SEAL, a move Esper said was "completely contrary" to what the two had discussed. 

In an interview Monday, Spencer told CBS News he spoke with White House counsel Pat Cipollone on November 15 and proposed an arrangement in which Gallagher would be allowed to retire as a SEAL if the president agreed not to intervene in the case and "let the Navy do its administrative work." Spencer said Cipollone called back the same day to decline the offer, saying the president would be involved.

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Richard Spencer, who was fired as Navy secretary for his handling of a Navy Seal war crimes case championed by Donald Trump, has said the Spencer was fired on Sunday by defense secretary Mark Esper for working a private deal with the White House to ensure Gallagher be allowed to retire

Former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who was fired this weekend for his handling of the Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher case , defended himself Spencer, speaking to CBS News, said President Trump’s decision to allow Gallagher to retire as a Navy SEAL and keep his SEAL “Trident pin” sends

"In order to preserve the resiliency of the naval institution, I had to step up and do something when it came to the Gallagher case," Spencer said.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer in an interview outside the Pentagon on Monday, November 25, 2019. © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer in an interview outside the Pentagon on Monday, November 25, 2019.

Spencer acknowledged not telling Esper about the proposal.

"I will take the bad on me, for not letting him know I did that," Spencer said. "But as far as I was concerned, at that point, the president understood the deal. Arguably, he doesn't have to deal with anyone. He said, 'I'm going to be involved.' He sent a signed letter to me, an order with his signature on it, saying, 'Promote Edward Gallagher to E7,'" the rank of chief petty officer.

Who Is Edward Gallagher, the SEAL the Navy Wants to Expel?

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Navy secretary fired amid Navy SEAL controversy . The high profile controversy around the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher claimed the job of the Secretary of the Navy amid wrangling over whether or how to punish the chief, accused but acquitted of murder stemming from a mission in Iraq.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday fired the Navy ’s top official, ending a stunning clash between President Donald Trump and top military leadership over the fate of a Esper said he had lost confidence in Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and alleged that Spencer proposed a deal with the […]

Esper acknowledged on Monday that when confronted about his secret negotiations with the White House, Spencer "was completely forthright in admitting what had been going on."

Gallagher was court-martialed and faced nearly a dozen charges over allegations he opened fire on civilians during a deployment to Iraq, murdered a captured ISIS fighter and threatened fellow SEALs over reporting his actions. In July he was acquitted of the most serious charges, but convicted of posing for a photo with a corpse of the ISIS fighter. Following his conviction, the Navy decided to demote Gallagher, a move Mr. Trump ordered reversed. 

Spencer said he promoted Gallagher after receiving the order and began developing the administrative peer review process, which could have led to Gallagher's Trident pin being revoked, expelling him from the Navy SEALs. Spencer said he explained the process to Esper's chief of staff and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on November 19. 

Spencer formally opened the Trident review board and notified relevant parties on November 20, last Wednesday. The next day, the president tweeted that "The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," spurring reports that Spencer threatened to resign if the president issued a formal order preserving Gallagher's status, which he denied Monday.

A Navy commander will have to clean up the SEAL mess (opinion)

  A Navy commander will have to clean up the SEAL mess (opinion) President Donald Trump and Navy officials have had disputes about a review of whether Edward Gallagher can retain his Navy SEAL status. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer resigned Sunday. Rear Admiral Collin Green now must handle the fallout of Gallagher's discipline or lack thereof.The legal and administrative case surrounding whether Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher will be allowed to retain his status as a SEAL took an interesting turn late Sunday, with the abrupt departure of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer from his position.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper revealed on Monday that it was President Donald Trump who ultimately ordered Eddie Gallagher be allowed to retire as a Navy SEAL .

Navy secretary fired over handling , 'lack of candor' in Eddie Gallagher case ; SEAL will keep Trident pin, Pentagon says Defense Secretary Mark Esper fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer on Sunday over his handling of the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who posed for a photo next to an

He said General Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, urged him not to resign when the two spoke on Friday. Spencer spoke to Esper on Saturday and briefed him on the events of the prior few days, and said the White House asked him to issue a statement denying he had threatened to resign, which he did publicly at an event that day.

Spencer said Monday that he doesn't think Mr. Trump "really understands the full definition of a warfighter." 

"A warfighter is a profession of arms and a profession of arms has standards that they have to be held to, and they hold themselves to," he said.

In his resignation letter Sunday, Spencer said he opposed the president's insistence that Gallagher be allowed to remain a SEAL.

"I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took," he said. He wrote that the Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice "are the shields that set us apart, and the beacons that protect us all." And Spencer said he had "strived to ensure our proceedings are fair, transparent and consistent."

All the SEAL's men: The Fox News campaign that made Eddie Gallagher untouchable .
SAN DIEGO - President Donald Trump's interventions in a San Diego-based Navy SEAL's war crimes case disrupted the military justice system for months, culminating Sunday in the firing of the Navy secretary as controversy boiled over at the top of military leadership. The extraordinary interventions by the most powerful man in the country essentially made Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher, who was convicted of posing with the body of a deceased Islamic State fighter, untouchable, observers said. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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