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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

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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