July 26, 2021

‘I wish you the best’: US military adviser resigns after Trump’s controversial photo op at church

A Department of Defense adviser has resigned, effective immediately, from the military’s science board, citing what he believed to be a violation of conduct from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

In his resignation letter to Esper, which was obtained by The Washington Post, James Miller Jr., who served as the US undersecretary of defense for policy from 2012 to 2014, recalled that he swore an oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” and “to bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” similar to what the defense secretary had done before he took office.

“On Monday, June 1, 2020, I believe that you violated that oath,” Miller wrote to Esper.

Miller’s reasoning centered on President Donald Trump’s visit Monday to St. John’s Church in Washington, DC, where peaceful protesters were cleared with tear gas so that he could pose with a Bible for photographs.

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