U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) said senior Pentagon leaders must remember that they swore an oath to the Constitution, not one man, after the firing of Secretary of Defense Mike Esper by President Trump via tweet today.
“In my experience, there would only be a few reasons to fire a Secretary of Defense with 72 days left in an Administration,” Slotkin said in a statement. “One would be incompetence or wrongdoing, which do not seem to be the issue with Secretary Esper. A second would be vindictiveness, which would be an irresponsible way to treat our national security. A third would be because the President wants to take actions that he believes his Secretary of Defense would refuse to take, which would be alarming. Whatever the reason, casting aside a Secretary of Defense during the volatile days of transition seems to neglect the President’s most important duty: to protect our national security.
Slotkin said she did not always agree with Secretary Esper, but she “always knew that he cared deeply for our men and women in uniform.”
“I worked with Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller during my time at the Pentagon, and more recently during his time at the National Counterterrorism Center. It is critical that he, and all senior Pentagon leaders, remember that they swore an oath to the Constitution, not any one man. With that oath comes a commitment to the peaceful transition of power. All leaders must decide what they will do in the next 72 days. I strongly urge Acting Secretary Miller to remember that the country and the military he has dedicated his life to are counting on him to do the right thing.”