The White House is “not happy” with Defense Secretary Mark Esper after he publicly came out against President Donald Trump’s suggestion to send military troops to quell protests, CNN reports.
Trump threatened to send invoke the Insurrection Act and send in the military to stop protesters earlier this week.
"If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump threatened Monday.
Esper comes out against:
Esper said he opposed the idea in a news briefing on Wednesday.
"The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire situations," Esper said. "We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act."
White House “not happy”:
Esper’s appearance on Wednesday "went over poorly with the White House," CNN reported.
Trump and Robert O’Brien, his national security adviser, were particularity “not happy” with the remarks.
A White House official said Esper did not give them a heads up his statement was coming.
"One person suggested the White House was reluctant to fire Esper given the current crisis and the fact that there are only five months left before the election," CNN reported. "Another person suggested Trump could leave Esper in place and push blame his way. The president has a history of letting top officials languish in positions long after he's lost confidence in them."