Two top military officials, including the secretary of the Navy and a SEAL admiral, have threatened to resign or be fired if President Donald Trump goes ahead with his stated intent to reverse the military’s decision to dismiss and discipline Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who has been accused of war crimes, according to a report on Saturday in the New York Times.
The paper reported that the military is moving forward with disciplinary action against Gallagher even though Trump said in a tweet this week that the “Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin.” Trump added, “This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, denied the report. “Contrary to popular belief, I am still here,” he said. “I did not threaten to resign. But let us just say we are here to talk about external threats, and Eddie Gallagher is not one of them.”
The Times also reported that military higher-ups are looking for a “face-saving compromise” with the president regarding the matter and are looking to convince Trump to change his mind.
Gallagher was accused of shooting and killing an unarmed Muslim girl and elderly man from a sniper position and unloading machine gun fire “indiscriminately” into neighborhoods. He also allegedly killed a 15-year-old Islamic State fighter with a knife. Gallagher was convicted on only one charge, however: bringing discredit to the military by posing for a photo with the fighter’s dead corpse.