(TNS) We’ve seen some of the most unorthodox and outrageous behavior coming from current and former Trump administration people in regards to their treatment of the president, but an op-ed by fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer in the Washington Post Thursday takes the cake.
The Washington Post. Of course.
In it, Spencer — who was terminated for going outside the chain of command in order to persecute a Navy SEAL who had himself been abused by the military justice system — actually admits that he tried to order President Trump to stay out of his business.
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Recall that the president restored the rank of Chief Eddie Gallagher after he was nearly railroaded by rogue JAG officers over the ‘murder’ of an ISIS terrorist. Recall, too, that Navy brass — outraged that President Trump actually exercised his authority as commander-in-chief — moved to pardon Gallagher and ensure that the Navy did not take away his coveted SEAL emblem, the Trident, out of spite for the president’s actions.
The president’s intervention didn’t sit well with Spencer, who actually wrote that he ordered Trump to stay out of the Navy’s business.
Spencer’s op-ed, “Richard Spencer: I was fired as Navy secretary. Here’s what I’ve learned because of it,” conveys unbelievable arrogance while confirming everything the president has always said about him and the deep state.
“It is highly irregular for a secretary to become deeply involved in most personnel matters,” Spencer acknowledges before admitting that he inserted himself into the case of Gallagher specifically to undermine the president’s wishes.
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“Before the trial began, in March, I received two calls from the president asking me to lift Gallagher’s confinement in a Navy brig,” Spencer wrote.
“I pushed back twice, because the presiding judge, acting on information about the accused’s conduct, had decided that confinement was important.
“Eventually, the president ordered me to have him transferred to the equivalent of an enlisted barracks,” he wrote.
Mind you, it’s likely by then that Trump knew about Gallagher’s case: Namely, that the prosecution — military lawyers — had been spying on Gallagher’s defense attorneys and had immunized a witness who admitted killing the ISIS terrorist instead of Gallagher.
That finding alone meant Gallagher should have been acquitted immediately. But because this warrior posed for a pic over the body of the dead terrorist — something warriors do — the overly-politicized Navy brass, including Spencer, decided to make an example of a career SEAL the country has spent millions training and deploying.
After the acquittal on murder charges, the Navy decided they would punish Gallagher by reducing him in rank — something President Trump would not allow.
After that, Spencer and the brass decided to undermine the president further and take away Gallagher’s Trident.
“On Nov. 14 …” Spencer wrote, “I sent him a note asking him not to get involved in these questions.” So, by his own version of events, the secretary of the Navy had rebuffed the commander-in-chief three times.
Spencer went around Defense Secretary Mark Esper to ‘cut a deal’ with the White House regarding Gallagher’s eventual disposition. That proved to be one act of insubordination too many.
Suspecting they had a deep stater in their midst, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone then called Spencer twice to inform the Navy secretary that the president, as commander-in-chief, would continue to be involved in whatever the hell he wanted to and advised Spencer that the president would be ordering the Navy secretary to restore Gallagher to the rank of chief.
“This was a shocking and unprecedented intervention in a low-level review,” the angry Spencer wrote. “It was also a reminder that the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.”
“Given my desire to resolve a festering issue,” Spencer continues, “I tried to find a way that would prevent the president from further involvement while trying all avenues to get Gallagher’s file in front of a peer-review board.”
Spencer does admit his chain-of-command mistake: “I also began to work without personally consulting Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on every step. That was, I see in retrospect, a mistake for which I am solely responsible.”
First of all, the president is commander-in-chief of all the armed forces, from the lowest-ranking private and sailor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. All personnel wearing the uniform are his responsibility. And again, it certainly appeared as though the Navy was trying to railroad a SEAL chief — which Spencer obviously had no problem with.
Because of a photo, this jerk was prepared to trash an entire decades-long decorated career of service to the country by a SEAL operator who is obviously a patriot.
Well, the president wasn’t having any of that.
Make no mistake, what is “unprecedented” in all of this is the level of disrespect and animosity shown a duly elected president. Like Trump or not, he was elected, is commander-in-chief, and does not deserve a level of disrespect not shown any other president in the modern era.
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