A former NATO supreme allied commander said the author of a New York Times op-ed that exposed efforts within the White House to contain the president's most dangerous impulses had an "obligation" to resign and publicly reveal what they know.
Retired U.S. Navy admiral James Stavridis told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the situation inside the White House described in the op-ed showed a dangerous disruption of civilian control of the military.
"At the end of the day, what you see is just dysfunctionality in the chain of command," Stavridis said. "That ought to worry all of us, regardless of who sits at the top you want a functioning military branch."
Host Joe Scarborough asked what he would do if ordered to assassinate a foreign leader, as President Donald Trump reportedly suggested.
"If you were in a position where somebody gave you the order to assassinate a foreign leader, to do something that you believed was illegal or dangerous, would you ignore that order?" Scarbrough said. "Confront the person in the chain of command, or would you retire and tell the world about it?"
Stravidis said military leaders should be duty-bound to go public.
"I'd take door No. 3," Stravidis said, "and I think at the end of the day, there is a spectrum of what the order is, but assassinating somebody, killing their family, deliberate collateral damage, those kind of things, I think, scream for, not only will I not do it and not only will I confront, but you have an obligation as a senior leader to step up and make that public."
Stravidis appealed to the patriotism of military leaders serving the president.
"At the end of the day any leader in any position has the responsibility to illuminate a situation when things are going off the rails," he said, "and I would argue doing so in a public way does a great service to the country."