Richard Spencer, the Navy secretary fired from the Trump administration after he opposed the president's intervention in the discipline of a SEAL accused of murder, will endorse Democrat Mike Bloomberg during an appearance with the candidate in Norfolk, Virginia, on Friday, according to the Bloomberg campaign.
Spencer, who also briefly served as President Donald Trump's acting defense secretary during summer 2019, becomes the first Trump political appointee to back one of the president's potential November opponents.
In a statement released Friday morning by the campaign, Spencer said, "I am proud to endorse Mike Bloomberg for president of the United States. … He will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and uphold the Uniform Code of Military Justice."
The latest news on the 2020 presidential election
"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."
Read the full story on NBCNews.com
Who’s Running for President in 2020?
The field of Democratic 2020 presidential candidates is packed, though some have already dropped out. Those still in the race include a former vice president, senators, businessmen, House members, a former governor and a mayor. As for the GOP, a former governor and former congressman are vying to challenge President Trump.
Click the photos to learn more
Updated Nov. 20, 2019
Note: Incorrect information about Michael Bennet’s cancer diagnosis and titles for Joe Sestak and William Weld have been revised on July 29, 2019, 3:17 p.m. ET.
Credit: Jo Bruni, Emma Barnett, Asher Klein, Dan Macht, Kelly Zegers / NBC; Photos: Getty Images