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ABC's Raddatz: 'Is the president planning a military operation?'

ABC chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz questioned whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE is "planning a military operation" amid a flurry of Pentagon resignations.

"No one has seen anything like this. There is concern about what this means," Raddatz told ABC's David Muir on "World News Tonight." "Is the president planning a military operation or the use of federal troops, which [Defense Secretary Mark] Esper opposed?"

The resignations came Tuesday from the Pentagon's top policy official James Anderson, the agency's top intelligence official Joseph Kernan and Jen Stewart, chief of staff to Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Trump loyalist to lead Pentagon transition | Democrats ask VA for vaccine distribution plan | Biden to get classified intel reports Ex-Nunes aide linked to Biden conspiracy theories will lead Pentagon transition Brennan takes final shot at Trump: 'I leave his fate to our judicial system, his infamy to history, & his legacy to a trash heap' MORE before Trump fired Esper on Monday.

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Raddatz echoed sentiments expressed by President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE, who has said Trump's refusal to concede "will not help the president's legacy."

She pointed toward other Republicans voicing support for Esper's role as Defense secretary despite Trump's removal of him on Monday.

"Even Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAs Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on Harris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year MORE praised Esper today, and Republican John CornynJohn CornynCornyn says election outcome 'becoming increasingly clear': report Top GOP senator: Biden should be getting intel briefings GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results MORE, a member of the Senate GOP leadership, said of Trump's decision to fire Esper, 'I don't think it helps him and I don't think it helps the country.'"

Esper's firing by Trump also comes as the president has indicated to allies that FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelA strong, committed intelligence community is part of America's good fortune Women set to take key roles in Biden administration Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns MORE stand as the next officials in line for removal. However, he has yet to take action.

Trump and some GOP congressional allies have eyed the FBI and CIA directors as uncooperative in pursuing unproven allegations that the Obama administration illegally spied on the president's campaign, also knocking Wray over the ongoing investigation into Biden's son Hunter Biden's past business ventures.

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Experts in national security are concerned any further disruptions of administrative roles in the Department of Defense, FBI and CIA could create a problematic and disjointed transfer of power when Biden is slated to take the Oval Office on Jan. 20.

Max Stier, director of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit and nonpartisan group that oversees the Center for Presidential Transition, told CNN the importance of a swift and stable transition of power from presidents post-inauguration, citing the White House race between George W. Bush and Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreKey McConnell ally: Biden should get access to transition resources CNN acquires Joe Biden documentary 'President in Waiting' Former GSA chief: 'Clear' that Biden should be recognized as president-elect MORE in 2000.

"You look back to 9/11 and the 9/11 Commission. It was very clear, looking back, that some of the delays that then-President George W. Bush experienced during the transition resulted in his delaying getting his national security team in place. And that hurt us," Stier said, citing the 9/11 Commission report.

"What's at stake, really, is our security, our safety. And with the world we're in today, with economic challenges that are incredibly severe, we have a lot that we should be worried about," said Stier.