A military analyst and terrorism expert says Mark Esper (pictured) clearly didn't go along with President Trump's national defense agenda – and that's what cost him his job as secretary of defense.
President Donald Trump tweeted his announcement on Monday, saying: "I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately."
Trump went on to say: "Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service."
Commander Kirk Lippold (USN-Ret.) commanded the USS Cole when it was attacked by terrorists in 2000.
"What I've learned from sources in the Pentagon is that the whole firing of Secretary Esper has kind of been building with the frustration with President Trump," Lippold tells OneNewsNow.
"[The president] clearly laid out some objectives that he wanted to achieve during his time in office that he said he was going to do – and that [included] our disengagement from a number of these long-term wars where there's no clear strategy for the U.S. to pull up, pull back."
But Esper, according to Lippold, clearly "began to resist and oppose" the president's objectives.
"He was using the instruments of the bureaucracy to kind of slow-roll it. and the president finally had enough," says the retired Navy officer. "President Trump … is interested in end results – and that is clearly what happened with Secretary Esper."
In an interview with Military Times, conducted before he was fired but published afterwards, Esper acknowledged a strained relationship with the president. And he indicated he had no intention of quitting but expected the other shoe to drop – although he didn't have a good read on when that might happen.