GOP group calls for Esper, Milley resignations after their 'egregious lapse in judgment'

US President Donald Trump leaves the White House on foot to go to St John's Episcopal church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020. - US President Donald Trump was due to make a televised address to the nation on Monday after days of anti-racism protests against police brutality that have erupted into violence..The White House announced that the president would make remarks imminently after he has been criticized for not publicly addressing in the crisis in recent days. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) / ALTERNATE CROP (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

A high-profile group of current and former Republicans are calling on the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to resign for exhibiting an "egregious lapse in judgement" Monday during Donald Trump's photo op debacle.

Both Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley accompanied Trump during his Bible-wielding photo op after law enforcement had violently cleared the area of peaceful protesters for "Trump's journey outside the White House. "The presence of the Secretary and Chairman at this ignominious event assaults the apolitical traditions of the US Military and has transformed them into political partisans," the conservative Lincoln Group wrote in a statement. "Their complicity is dangerous."

The political action committee, which includes anti-Trumpers such as former GOP operatives Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson, excoriated Esper and Milley for their participation in the event in no uncertain terms.

During this 45-minute spasm of violence, the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Bible, and historic St. John’s Church were desecrated by President Trump. He was accompanied by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

Secretary Esper claimed ignorance, stating: “I didn’t know where I was going.” He should have. His excuse is unacceptable for the man who serves as the civilian leader of the American military. It would be unacceptable for a 19-year-old rifleman.

Esper’s comments to governors earlier that day about controlling the “battlespace,” otherwise known as the streets of American cities, were appalling and represented a chilling lack of awareness of his duties and the role of the US military in American society.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff chose to accompany the president wearing his ACU (Army Combat Uniform.) General Milley surveyed the scene of the assault as if he was assessing recently secured territory on a battlefield.

Sec. Esper and Gen. Milley both need to go. Their participation in this vicious attack on First Amendment rights was reprehensible. 

The only question is, where are the Democrats on this? Where's the high-profile Democratic call for their immediate resignations? Forget about the investigations, these two can't be trusted to make sounds decisions, and they have politicized the apolitical organizations they are charged with representing. They need to go. 

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