But he didn’t, for now.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
President Trump last week was on the brink of firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper over their differing views of domestic use of active-duty military, before advisers and allies on Capitol Hill talked him out of it, according to several officials.
The officials said Mr. Trump was furious with Mr. Esper for not supporting his inclination to use active-duty troops to quell protestsin Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and elsewhere following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
Mr. Trump consulted several advisers to ask their opinion of the disagreement, intent that day on removing Mr. Esper, his fourth defense secretary since taking office in January 2017, according to the officials. After talks with the advisers, who cautioned against the move, Mr. Trump set aside the plans to immediately fire Mr. Esper.
At the same time, however, Mr. Esper, aware of Mr. Trump’s feelings, was making his own preparations to resign, partly in frustration over the differences regarding the role of the military, the officials said. He had begun to prepare a letter of resignation before he was persuaded not to do so by aides and other advisers, according to some of the officials.