Musician John Legend on Sunday denounced President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE as a "cancer" who needs to be removed from the White House after the president's involvement in a war crimes case related to a Navy SEAL led to the ouster of the Navy secretary.
"The President is a cancer and needs to be removed from office as soon as possible," Legend, a frequent Trump critic, tweeted in response to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer's letter on his exit.
The President is a cancer and needs to be removed from office as soon as possible. https://t.co/TS1KG7ruFV— John Legend (@johnlegend) November 25, 2019
Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperBiden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief defends Milley after Trump book criticism | Addresses critical race theory | Top general says Taliban has 'strategic momentum' in war The Biden administration and Tunisia: Off to a good start MORE requested Spencer's resignation late Sunday over the Navy chief's handling of a war crimes case involving Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher. The Navy had been planning a review of Gallagher's conduct stemming from a 2017 Iraq deployment and considering whether he would lose his Navy SEAL designation.
Trump fiercely opposed the disciplinary proceeding, tweeting last week that the Navy would "NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin," which designates him a SEAL.
The Pentagon said that Esper had asked for Spencer's resignation because the official had not followed normal procedure and made a request to White House officials to resolve Gallagher's case.
Spencer appeared to contradict that statement in a letter announcing his departure. He said that he was leaving because “I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
"Unfortunately, it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me," Spencer wrote.
Gallagher's conduct review was to focus on allegations of war crimes. Gallagher was found not guilty earlier this year in a war crimes trial on charges of killing an ISIS detainee and over the attempted murder of Iraqi civilians.
A military jury convicted Gallagher, 40, in July of posing with a corpse in Iraq during a 2017 deployment, while acquitting him of several other charges. His conviction resulted in a loss of rank and reduction in pay. He received no jail time for his conviction, and Trump restored Gallagher's rank just months later.
Esper confirmed on Monday that Trump had ordered him to allow Gallagher to retire without losing his Trident pin.
Legend has been outspoken in his opposition of Trump, often using Twitter and other platforms to speak out about the president's policies and rhetoric. Legend, 40, previously branded Trump as "sad, and petty, and narcissistic and immature."
In September, Trump lashed out at Legend and his wife, model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen, claiming they took credit for criminal justice reform legislation that passed under his administration.