US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer fired over Seal case

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper has fired Navy chief Richard Spencer over his handling of the case of a Navy Seal demoted for misconduct.

The case of Edward Gallagher, who was convicted for posing with a corpse, had sparked tensions between President Donald Trump and military officials.

The Navy officer had been due to face a disciplinary review where he could have been stripped of his Seals membership.

There have been differing accounts as to why Mr Spencer was asked to resign.

Mr Esper said he had lost confidence in the Navy secretary because his private conversations with the White House contradicted his public position.

However, Mr Trump said he was not happy with “cost overruns” and how Chief Petty Officer Gallagher’s trial was run, and suggested this was why Mr Spencer was fired.

Meanwhile, in a strongly-worded letter, Mr Spencer said it was apparent that he and Mr Trump did not have the same view of “good order and discipline”.

How did we get here?

Chief Gallagher was accused of stabbing an unarmed 17-year-old Islamic State group prisoner to death and randomly shooting civilians while serving in Iraq in 2017.

He was acquitted of those charges and convicted only of the lesser charge of posing with the IS prisoner’s corpse.

For that he was demoted, but President Trump later reinstated his rank.

Chief Gallagher was formally notified by Navy leaders last week that he would face a disciplinary review which could result in his being…

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