HIGH STAKES

Navy Secretary to Trump: ‘Fire Me’ If $13B Aircraft Carrier Doesn’t Get Fixed

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said he told President Trump to fire him if he couldn’t fix the weapons elevators on a high-tech $13 billion aircraft carrier, Bloomberg reports. Spencer reportedly made his offer regarding the USS Gerald R. Ford to Trump at the annual Army-Navy football game in December. “I asked him to stick out his hand, he stuck his hand out and I said, ‘Let’s do this like corporate America.’ I shook his hand,” Spencer said at a conference Tuesday, adding that he vowed the elevators would be fixed by August. If not, Spencer said he told the president he had full license to fire him. “We’ll see if I’m here after August,” Spencer said. The weapons elevators on the USS Gerald R. Ford are reportedly powered by “magnets rather than cables,” and have run into installation issues and instances of “uncommanded movements” since 2015. Trump expressed doubt about the ship’s magnetic technology late last year. While talking about the ship’s electromagnetic system to launch aircraft on a phone call with U.S. servicemen in November, Trump claimed an “Albert Einstein” was needed for it to “really work it properly” and said “steam is very reliable.”