In his first interview since being fired, former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer basically told Donald Trump that he doesn’t know the first thing about the military.
Spencer’s remarks come after he was forced out by Defense Secretary Mark Esper in the midst of Trump’s push to “block a conduct review of a Navy SEAL” who was convicted of dishonoring the uniform after he posed with the dead body of an ISIS prisoner.
“What message does that send to the troops?” Spencer said on Monday. “That you can get away with things.”
The ousted Navy Secretary added, “I don’t think [Trump] really understands the full definition of a warfighter.”
Video via CBS News:
CBS NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Ousted Navy Secretary Richard Spencer tells @CBSDavidMartin Pres. Trump does not understand the “full definition of a war fighter” after the president stopped the Pentagon review of SEAL Eddie Gallagher & called him a “great fighter.” https://t.co/qX2ptVQ1i4 pic.twitter.com/Z3xpmhtvyL
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 25, 2019
What message does that send to the troops?. … That you can get away with things. We have to have good order and discipline. It’s the backbone of what we do. … I don’t think [Trump] really understands the full definition of a warfighter. A warfighter is a profession of arms and a profession of arms has standards that they have to be held to and they hold themselves to.
Trump stands with war criminals
Trump’s push to prop up Eddie Gallagher comes as the president also granted clemency to three war criminals.
Veterans have already spoken up, saying Trump views the military as a “tool for massacres” and is setting a “dangerous precedent by siding with war criminals. Salon writer Heather Digby Parton called Trump’s moves “a vicious, ugly power play.”
Ultimately, the insecure president believes that propping up war criminals will make him look like a strong commander in chief, but it’s really just the opposite.
There is nothing tough about elevating those who dishonor the uniform. It only confirms – as the outgoing Navy secretary said on Monday – that Trump doesn’t know a damn thing about the military.