Donald Trump has sacked US defence secretary Mark Esper and replaced him with National Counterterrorism Centre director Christopher Miller.
The US President took to Twitter to announce: “Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service”.
In a separate tweet Trump added: “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.”
During the summer the President and defence secretary clashed over whether to use military to quell protests following the death of George Floyd. Trump urged a crackdown with the US military, but Esper disagreed, and said active duty military troops should not be sent to control the protests.
Later in the summer Trump publicly mocked Esper, calling him “Yesper”. According to NBC News Esper earned the nickname from white house officials and lawmakers who believed Esper was willing to implement Trump’s agenda without pushing back.