Trump fires Defense Secretary Mark Esper

President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday is sparking deep concern among Democrats in Congress, who warn that one of the few remaining checks on the commander in chief’s national security whims is out of the picture.

Trump announced via tweet on Monday that he had “terminated” Mark Esper, ending months of speculation over the Defense secretary’s fate after the two clashed this summer over the proper use of troops in dealing with protests.

Christopher Miller, the current head of the National Counterterrorism Center, will take on the role immediately.

It follows a public falling-out between Mr Trump and Mr Esper in recent weeks.

Mr Trump has so far not conceded the US election to President-elect Joe Biden, and has vowed to challenge the projected result in court.

In the weeks before Mr Biden takes office on 20 January, Mr Trump is still empowered to make decisions.