Trump Pentagon Officials Delayed Promotions of Female Generals Due to Fear Over His Reaction
Story Code : 916942
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and then-War Secretary Mark Esper, according to the newspaper, worried that if they mentioned Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, commanding general of US Army North [Fifth Army], and Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of Air Mobility Command in the Air Force, "the Trump White House would replace them with their own candidates before leaving office."
Milley and Esper also feared candidates besides White men nominated to positions normally held by White men "might run into turmoil once their nominations got to the White House," the Times reported.
The concerns by both top military officials led them to delay the generals' nominations until after the November presidential election in hopes that the candidates would have a better chance of being considered under a Biden administration, according to the Times.
Esper confirmed the report to CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday. CNN has reached out to the Pentagon, White House and Trump's office for comment.
A senior official close to Esper told Tapper that the slate of officers numbered a half dozen, and that there were concerns others at the White House might try to hold them up for one reason or another -- including the fact that relations between Esper and Trump, and between the Pentagon and White House, were in bad shape.
News of the move by the officials underscores the turmoil within the War Department in the waning days of the 45th President's administration that included uncertainty and alarm over changes within the Pentagon.