In this Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 photo, U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer fields questions at a media availability at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has fired the Navy’s top official over his handling of the case of a SEAL accused of war crimes who President Donald Trump has defended. Esper said on Sunday, Nov. 24 that he had lost confidence in Spencer and alleged that Spencer proposed a deal with the White House behind his back to resolve the SEAL’s case. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP)

Fired Navy leader highly critical of Trump in SEAL case

November 27, 2019 - 7:13 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has written an opinion article sharply critical of President Donald Trump for intervening in the war crimes case of a Navy SEAL.

Spencer wrote in The Washington Post on Wednesday that Trump’s actions were “shocking” and unprecedented.

Spencer was fired Sunday by Defense Secretary Mark Esper for working a private deal with the White House to ensure that Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher be allowed to retire without losing his SEAL status.

In his opinion article, Spence acknowledged his mistake, but also asserted that Trump has “very little understanding” of how the military operates and polices its members.

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