In a Wednesday column for The Nation, reporter Michael T. Klare speculated that something “more sinister” than spite may have been behind President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Trump officially ousted Esper on November 9, but the decision hardly came as a surprise to Washington insiders. Esper reportedly angered the commander-in-chief by refusing to endorse the use of active-duty troops in quelling the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality.
Since taking office, Trump has demanded loyalty from administration officials, Klare noted, so Esper’s ouster was largely dismissed as the president being spiteful. At the time, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, a Democrat, said that Trump “cares about loyalty above all else.”
According to Klare — who is a professor emeritus of peace and world-security studies at Hampshire College — it is “necessary to consider other, more sinister motives” because Esper’s ouster may be part of Trump’s plan to steal the 2020 presidential election.
As the columnist noted, Christopher C. Miller will take Esper’s place. As a U.S. Special Forces veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Miller participated in covert operations against ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Trump has not yet conceded to Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who was projected to win the presidential race last week. Alleging widespread voter fraud, the president has vowed to exhaust all legal options, insisting that he is the winner of the contest.
Klare noted that the president has made it clear that he won’t accept the results of the election, even if that means letting the conservative-leaning Supreme Court have the final say.
“This, he undoubtedly knows, would trigger mass protests all across the United States. Is he already thinking ahead to this moment, and eliminating an obstacle to the use of military force in crushing such protests?” the reporter asked.
Concluding the column, Klare asserted that it is possible Trump decided to fire Esper and appoint Miller because he wanted a defense secretary who would not hesitate to use force to crush a mass protest movement.
“In the days ahead, however, we must be on guard for any evidence that Trump’s decision to fire Esper and replace him with a Special Operations veteran signals a covert White House plan to use the U.S. military in support of an illegal drive to subvert democracy and install Trump as dictator.”
Others have speculated that Trump could try to stage a coup and stay in office for a second term. As The Inquisitr reported, Vox journalist Andrew Prokop recently argued that the commander-in-chief may try to secure another term in the White House by forcing Republican state officials and legislators to overturn the results of the election.