Report: Defense Secretary Esper has prepared letter of resignation

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has prepared a letter of resignation in anticipation of being pushed out after the election, according to a report.

Three current defense officials told NBC News the Secretary has done so because he is one of the Cabinet officials expected to be pushed out once the results come in. It’s a common practice for Cabinet officials and other government staff to have undated resignation letters prepared in the event the president wishes to replace them moving into a second term.

However, the "process usually occurs after the election results are clear."

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper holds an end of year press conference at the Pentagon on December 20, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper holds an end of year press conference at the Pentagon on December 20, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. Photo credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Esper has long been at odds with the president, the latest episode seeing the Secretary in favor of stripping military bases of Confederate leaders’ names. According to NBC News, Esper provided Pentagon officials with guidance just this week about renaming ships and streets on military bases that honor Confederate leaders and generals.

The two also disagreed about the use of active duty troops in the effort to stop or minimize U.S. protests about racial injustice over the summer.

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