John Legend calls Trump a 'cancer' who 'needs to be removed from office'
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Musician John Legend on Sunday denounced President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' 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.

Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Senate Dems urge Esper to oppose shifting Pentagon money to border wall 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. 

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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.

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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.