Ousted Navy secretary says Trump's war crimes intervention signals 'you can get away with things'
Washington (CNN) — Ousted Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who was forced out of his role Sunday after President Donald Trump's intervention in a war crimes case, said in an interview Monday that the President's actions send a message that "you can get away with things."
"What message does that send to the troops?" Spencer said of Trump's actions to CBS Evening News. "That you can get away with things. We have to have good order and discipline. It's the backbone of what we do."
Spencer's comments came the day after Secretary of Defense Mark Esper "fired" him for going outside his chain of command by proposing a "secret agreement with the White House," according to a senior defense official. Spencer appeared to be seeking a way to resolve a standoff between the Pentagon and White House over Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher's case.
Gallagher had been convicted of bringing discredit to the armed services after posing next to a dead ISIS fighter's body, which is against regulations. Earlier this month, Trump reversed Gallagher's demotion and later tweeted he wouldn't let the Navy punish Gallagher in its ongoing review of whether he should be kicked out of the SEALs.
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