Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is joining CNN as global affairs analyst and political commentator.
Shortly after the 2020 presidential election, then-President Donald Trump fired Esper, part of the upheaval in the administration as Trump refused to concede the election. Esper served from July 2019 to November, 2020, a period that included his opposition to sending U.S. troops to control protests in major cities following the killing of George Floyd. In an interview with The New York Times in 2022, as he was publishing a book on his time in the administration, Esper said of Trump, “He is an unprincipled person who, given his self-interest, should not be in the position of public service.”
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Before he became the Secretary of Defense, Esper was secretary of the Army. He is currently partner and board member at the venture capital firm Red Cell Partners.
CNN also announced that Leah Wright Rigueur would join the network as an on-air contributor. Rigueur is associate professor at Johns Hopkins University and hosted the podcast Reclaimed: The Story of Mary Till-Mobley. She previously was a contributor for ABC News.
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