Speed Reads

flip

One of Trump's first political appointees endorses Bloomberg for president

President Trump's demands for absolute loyalty don't seem to be panning out very well for him.

On Friday, former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer endorsed billionaire Mike Bloomberg for president, NBC News reports. He is reportedly the first of Trump's own political appointees to publicly support one of the president's opponents in the 2020 election.

Spencer was appointed in 2017, a few months into Trump's presidency, but was ousted in November over the Edward Gallagher debacle — Trump wanted to restore Gallagher's rank to Navy SEAL after he was demoted over accusations of several war crimes. Gallagher was acquitted on several charges, but was found guilty on one charge related to posing for photos with the corpse of a suspected Islamic State militant. Spencer threatened to resign over Trump's effort to reverse Gallagher's demotion, arguing he should be punished.

Spencer is a lifelong Republican, and The New York Times writes his support for Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, helps Bloomberg argue he alone "can make inroads with Republican voters in the November general election."

Bloomberg launched his campaign shortly after Spencer's resignation, and at the time publicly applauded Spencer for "not flinching from his duties." Spencer will appear with Bloomberg at a Friday event in Norfolk, Virginia, home to several military bases and a large community of military veterans.