November 9, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the White House announced the firing of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper via tweet, destabilizing the Pentagon ahead of the Presidential transition.
“In the national security community, it is well known that periods of presidential transition leave our country exposed to unique threats. Until President-Elect Biden is sworn into office next January, it is imperative that the Pentagon remain under stable, experienced leadership.
“Dismissing politically appointed national security leaders during a transition is a destabilizing move that will only embolden our adversaries and put our country at greater risk. President Trump’s decision to fire Secretary Esper out of spite is not just childish, it’s also reckless. It has long been clear that President Trump cares about loyalty above all else, often at the expense of competence, and during a period of presidential transition competence in government is of the utmost importance.”