SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Military leaders raised concerns with White House after Trump tweet on SEAL case, administration official says

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley have raised serious concerns with the White House after President Donald Trump signaled he would block the Navy from ejecting Eddie Gallagher from the SEALs, an administration official told CNN.

Posted: Nov 24, 2019 12:50 PM
Updated: Nov 24, 2019 12:50 PM

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley have raised serious concerns with the White House in the last 48 hours after President Donald Trump signaled he would block the Navy from ejecting Eddie Gallagher from the SEALs, an administration official told CNN.

"There is extreme concern over decision making being pulled from the Navy," one administration official told CNN Saturday in reaction to Trump's Thursday tweet that "the Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin." The Trident Pin, which is worn by Navy SEALs, is awarded following their completion of an intense qualification course and symbolizes membership in the elite military community.

As of Saturday afternoon, a review of Gallagher's status was expected to proceed. That review is considering whether he should be able to continue as a SEAL or be expelled, according to one defense official.

Trump early this month ignored advice from the Pentagon and intervened in three war crimes cases. Trump pardoned two service members and restored Gallagher's rank.

Gallagher had been demoted after being found guilty of posing for a photo with the dead body of an ISIS casualty in Iraq. He had faced a court-martial for premeditated murder and attempted murder, but was acquitted.

On Thursday, the President tweeted that he wouldn't let the Navy punish Gallagher.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters after the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada, on Saturday that so far there has been no order from the President to stop the process of reviewing Gallagher's status. Spencer said he would need an order "to act" and added that he does not "interpret (tweets) as a formal order."

"I do not interpret what the President does. I do what he says," Spencer said. "The President of the United States is the commander in chief. He is involved in every aspect of government, and he can make decisions and do things and give orders as he deems appropriate."

Earlier Saturday at the forum, Spencer denied a New York Times report that he had threatened to resign or be fired if the President stopped the military from removing Gallagher from the elite group, saying, "Contrary to popular belief, I am still here. I did not threaten to resign."

"We're here to talk about external threats, and Eddie Gallagher is not one of them," Spencer said.

The New York Times also reported that Rear Adm. Collin Green, the head of the Navy SEALs, had made threats to resign or be fired.

Green was aware he was opening himself up to the possibility of being fired by Trump after he decided to conduct a review of Gallagher's fitness to serve as a SEAL, according to a defense official directly familiar with the matter. The official said Green knew his move could be viewed as "insubordination" by the President.

But Green "absolutely" has not contemplated resigning, the official said, and the chief SEAL felt more secure after Spencer and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday issued statements of support for the administrative review Green ordered.

When asked about Green on Saturday, Spencer said "he has not" threatened to resign.

A Defense official told CNN Saturday that the Pentagon is strongly urging the White House to let military discipline measures run their course without interference, meaning that military officials want to be able to make the decision about Gallagher's fate without the President weighing in.

However, military officials acknowledge the President has the right as commander in chief to issue orders on military justice matters.

A Navy official told CNN Friday that following Trump's tweet, the Navy had paused proceedings against Gallagher until additional guidance was provided by the White House.

Spencer said Friday the military review should proceed despite Trump's tweet, telling Reuters: "I believe the process matters for good order and discipline." Earlier Saturday, Chief Navy spokesman Rear Adm. Charles Brown told CNN that those comments from Spencer "are in line with current White House guidance."

A spokesperson for Spencer told CNN that his comments were in line with previous statements the secretary has made about supporting his commanders.

Gallagher's lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, has said that the Navy's decision to order the review of Gallagher's status was part of an effort to push back against Trump's earlier decision to restore the SEAL's rank. Parlatore has slammed the Navy's leadership, particularly Green who had ordered the review board.

Green ordering the review "crossed a very dangerous line, having our uniformed flag officers being directly defiant of our commander in chief," Parlatore told CNN Thursday.

Before the President acted earlier this month, Esper and other senior military leaders had warned Trump that his intervention could damage the integrity of the military judicial system, the ability of military leaders to ensure good order and discipline and the confidence of US allies and partners who host US troops.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 22°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 19°
Huntington
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 22°
Lima
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 23°
Dry start to Monday, snow/freezing rain moves in late
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events