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Former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump's former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who was fired for his handling of the Eddie Gallagher case, announced Friday that he would endorse Mike Bloomberg for president in 2020.

Why it matters: Spencer is the first Trump political appointee to break with the president and support one of his challengers in the forthcoming presidential election.

  • Spencer reportedly circumvented Defense Secretary Mark Esper and privately told the White House that he would ensure Gallagher, who was convicted for posing with the corpse of a dead Islamic State militant in 2017, would be able to retire as a Navy SEAL as long as White House officials did not intervene in the case.
  • "I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States," he wrote in a letter acknowledging his termination in November.

What he's saying: Spencer said that he has the "utmost confidence" in Bloomberg's ability to lead as commander in chief.

  • "He will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and uphold the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Mike will honor the service and ensure the equal treatment of all women and men in uniform. He also will respect the advice of military advisers."
  • "Restoring America’s standing in the world and repairing relationships with our allies will be a top priority in Mike’s administration. And he knows our nation owes a debt of gratitude to our veterans and military families."

Go deeper: Ousted Navy Secretary Richard Spencer hits back at Trump on CBS

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Sports

Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars Olympic finals

Photo: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Simone Biles will not compete in the individual vault or uneven bars finals at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced Friday.

Why it matters: Biles drew global attention after pulling out of the individual all-around and team finals to prioritize her mental health. It's unclear if she will compete in the balance beam or floor exercise events.

21 mins ago - Sports

American Katie Ledecky wins Olympic gold in women's 800m freestyle

Photo: François-Xavier Marit/AFP via Getty Images

American superstar swimmer Katie Ledecky grabbed her second gold medal of this year's Olympic Games, winning the women's 800-meter freestyle race Saturday in Tokyo.

Driving the news: Ledecky, who holds the world record in the 800m freestyle, is considered one of the best women swimmers of all time. Earlier this week, she snagged gold in the first-ever women's 1500m freestyle and took home silver medals in the 400m freestyle and the 4x2100m freestyle relay.

33 mins ago - Sports

Caeleb Dressel breaks world record in men's 100m butterfly, wins 3rd gold in Tokyo

Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel broke the world record in the men's 100-meter butterfly final in Tokyo on Saturday, picking up his third gold medal of this year's Games.

The big picture: Dressel finished with a time of 49.45 seconds. Hungary's Kristóf Milák won the silver, and Switzerland's Noe Ponti took the bronze.

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