Richard Spencer testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

Richard Spencer testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

The Navy’s top official has lost his job.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said he ousted the Navy secretary because he was “flabbergasted” to learn that Richard V. Spencer tried to make a secret deal with the White House involving a Navy SEAL.

Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher was accused of “murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice charges,” according to The New York Times.. But Gallagher was convicted in 2017 for posing with the corpse of an Islamic State militant.

He was demoted, until last week when President Donald Trump restored his rank.

The Navy notified Gallagher that his case would be reviewed by a Navy SEAL review board. There was a chance he might not be allowed to remain a SEAL. Trump tweeted that he would not allow that board to review Gallagher’s case.

That’s when Spencer allegedly went over Esper’s head and tried to work out a deal with the White House. This led to Spencer’s dismissal.

How do SEALs and other servicemembers feel about the situation? What does this mean for the military’s relationship with the White House?

Produced by Stacia Brown.

Guests

  • Leo Shane Deputy editor of Military Times; @LeoShane
  • Bradley Strawser Associate professor of philosophy in the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School
  • Sean O'Keefe Former Secretary of the Navy; former administrator of NASA; University Professor, Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

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