WASHINGTON — President Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on Monday, upending the military's leadership at a time when Mr. Trump's refusal to concede the election has created a rocky and potentially precarious transition. Mr. Trump announced the decision on Twitter , writing in an abrupt post that Mr. Esper had been "terminated." The president wrote that he was appointing Christopher C. Miller , whom he described as the "highly respected" director of the National Counterterrorism Center, to be the acting defense secretary. Mr. Miller will be the fourth official to lead the Pentagon under Mr. Trump. Two White House officials said later on Monday that Mr. Trump was not finished, and that Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, could be next in line to be fired. Removing these senior officials — in effect decapitating the nation's national security bureaucracy — would be without parallel by an outgoing president who has just lost re-election. Democrats and national security veterans said it was a volatile move in the uncertain time between administrations, particularly by a president who has made clear that he does not want to give up power and that he would be… Read full this story
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