Top US general says Navy SEAL case is now ‘closed’

Aaron Schwartz

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Monday reportedly said the controversial case over a Navy SEAL that led to the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer is now “closed.”

“I think at this point the secretary of defense has made decisions [and] the case is now, in my view, it is closed,” Milley told reporters, according to Reuters. His comments came a day after Defense Secretary Mark Esper asked for the resignation of Spencer. 

The case Milley is referring to is over Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher.

Esper told The Washington Post in a statement Sunday that he was “deeply troubled” by reports that Spencer had reached out to White House officials promising Gallagher, who was convicted for posing with the corpse of a slain enemy combatant, would be allowed to retire as a SEAL. 

Milley told reporters that the hiring and firing of civilian leadership at the Pentagon was out of his purview, according to Reuters. 

“[Esper] has made decisions for good reasons, that are within his power to make decisions, and I’ll support the secretary of defense in those decisions,” Milley added. 

President Trump had tweeted the Navy “will NOT” be taking away Gallagher’s trident pin and claimed the case was “handled very badly.” 

Spencer had said the tweet was not an official order. Later on Sunday, Spencer submitted his resignation letter that stated he and the president disagreed on the nature of the rule of law. 

“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,” he said, while not specifying the order from Trump to which he referred.

Tags Department of Defense Donald Trump Mark Esper Mark Milley Navy Navy Richard Spencer

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