National News Update: December 4, 2019

Here is an update on the ongoing story of formal Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s exit from his post and the 2020 Democratic presidential race, which saw an addition and subtraction of candidates. 

Update on Pardon Story

Last week The Ledger ran a story on the resignation of former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and the circumstances behind this forced departure.  The article talked about the pardons by President Trump of several soldiers convicted or accused of war crimes and the president’s unusual intervention in the military justice system.  

Shortly after our story, Spencer wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post on November 27, 2019.  This piece commented on President Trump’s intervention into Gallagher’s case and shares more about the extraordinary circumstances of Spencer’s resignation.

By William Pratt – Richard V. Spencer, Public Domain
Spencer resigned after conflict with the Trump administration over military justice.

The op-ed, titled “I was fired as Navy secretary. Here’s what I’ve learned because of it,” begins with Spencer’s detail of the capabilities and discipline of America’s armed forces.  Spencer states that, “We are effective overseas not because we have the best equipment but because we are professionals. Our troops are held to the highest standards.”  Spencer reinforces the morality of American troops and the incredible rarity of situations such as this.

The former Navy Secretary then goes on to ridicule President Trump and describe the circumstances of his dismissal.  Spencer describes the action of the White House in poor terms, and states the known dangers of high up military and political leaders taking an involvement in military justice.  He states that he believed his intentions were positive but accepts blame for not consulting with the Secretary of Defense.

He closes the article, saying, “Americans need to know that 99.9 percent of our uniformed members always have, always are and always will make the right decision. Our allies need to know that we remain a force for good, and to please bear with us as we move through this moment in time.”  

The White House responded to this widely publicized opinion by criticizing Spencer and supporting the President’s decision to intervene in Gallagher’s case.  White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox and Friends in defense of the president.  Conway told the hosts “I’m sure it hurts to lose your position, but the president stands by his decision, and he was there.”

This op-ed is the latest in a growing line of rebukes of the Trump administration by military personnel.


Michael Bloomberg Enters the 2020 Democratic Primary Presidential Race

“P1020494.JPG” by azipaybarah (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Michael Bloomberg during his campaign for NYC mayor.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had announced that he will be entering the race the democratic presidential nominee. Bloomberg became NYC mayor as a republican but switched parties in 2018.

CNN reports that Bloomberg, who had previously said he would not run, changed his mind because he does not see a candidate who can beat President Trump.  And that is the central message and goal of Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign: beating the President.  

Billionaire Bloomberg had purchased a thirty seven million dollar ad buy in the first week of his campaign.   He faces a tough challenge ahead fighting Senators Warren and Sanders, who have already stated that billionaires shouldn’t be able to buy elections, but has managed to gain early support, averaging 2.5% in early polls, according to 


Senator Kamala Harris Drops the 2020 Democratic Primary Presidential Race

It was reported on Tuesday, December 3, that Senator Harris would no longer be running for the coveted democratic presidential bid. Senator Harris released a statement stating her campaign can no longer fund itself and that “in good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do.”

Senator Harris began her campaign with a strong backing, but has fallen in the polls despite having a strong showing in recent debates.