The ex-Defense Sec and US Marine General has worked for both Obama and Trump…
But left the Trump admin when he would not stop telling Trump how he felt and would not do things ge thought where wrong…
The current Defense Sec. Esper has been in a buzzsaw for the last few days…
This morning he moved to send active duty units in the nation’s capitol back to their bases only it seems to be told in a meeting in the White House that if President Trump tells him to disobey military and legal norms?
He is to do it…
It seems unlike Mattis?
Esper has jumped…
This is NOT going to be good for Esper with his senior people, lawmakers of both parties and ex-military types like Mattis , who has gone public….
“We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he continued. “We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
The message marked an extraordinary shift for Mattis, a retired Marine general who said he felt it was his duty to stay out of politics after resigning as Pentagon chief in 2018. He has broadly been criticized for it, in light of his service in the Trump administration and knowledge of the president.
But recent unrest in the country, and Trump’s response to it, changed the dynamics.
Mattis wrote that he has watched events this week “angry and appalled,” and said protesters are right to demand equal justice under the law….
The Esper turnaround….
Esper irked the White House Wednesday morning when he appeared in front of cameras to proclaim his opposition to deploying active-duty troops to respond to protests around the country — a move that many saw as a break with the president, who on Monday threatened to do just that if state and local officials fail to deal with violent protests breaking out across the country.
Though Esper did not specifically contradict the president, his message and forceful tone rubbed some in the White House the wrong way, two White House aides and two others close to the discussions tell POLITICO.
Earlier in the day, Esper ordered 200 active-duty soldiers from the 82nd Airborne’s immediate response force — brought to the national capital region to deal with unrest if needed — to return to their home base after two days of more peaceful demonstrations in D.C. But Esper abruptly overturned the decision just hours later, after a meeting at the White House and other internal Pentagon discussions, according to The Associated Press.
The White House meeting and Esper’s reversal suggests the president or his aides pressured Esper to keep troops in the region after he told reporters in no uncertain terms that he opposed the use of active-duty troops as law enforcement right now.
“The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire situations. We are not in one of those situations right now,” Esper said Wednesday in his first public comments since the protests erupted.
“I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” Esper said, referring to the president’s authority to deploy active-duty troops to respond to protests….