In a move that has alarmed Democrats, US President Donald Trump named Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who came to power in a 2013 coup d’état, to replace former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
The move comes amid fears that Trump will refuse to leave office following his loss to former Vice President Joe Biden in last week’s election. Sisi’s appointment was part of a shake-up at the top levels of the Pentagon, with Sudanese Lt. Gen. Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, Pakistani General Pervez Musharraf, and Pennsylvania pastor Fethullah Gülen all awarded high-level positions. Separately, Romanian historian Edward Luttwak was appointed the president’s chief of staff.
“These are just routine personnel changes and in no way signal that the president is planning to cling to power through sheer military force,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh told reporters. “Besides, once all the legal votes are counted the president will be re-elected easily, so if there’s anyone you should worry about launching a coup it’s Biden.”
As of press time, President Trump had reportedly asked staff to bring him a DVD of Disney’s “The Lion King.”