According to a report from the New York Times, then-Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley under the Trump administration felt that two top generals who happened to be female deserved to be promoted to elite, four-star commands, but they feared that any candidates "other than white men" would meet resistance from Donald Trump's White House.
"Mr. Esper and General Milley worried that if they even raised their names — Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost of the Air Force and Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson of the Army — the Trump White House would replace them with their own candidates before leaving office," the Times' Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper write.
According to the report, the Pentagon officials decided that the best approach would be to hold back their recommendations until after the November elections in the hopes that Joe Biden would win.
"They were chosen because they were the best officers for the jobs, and I didn't want their promotions derailed because someone in the Trump White House saw that I recommended them or thought D.O.D. was playing politics," Mr. Esper said in an interview, referring to the Department of Defense. "This was not the case. They were the best qualified. We were doing the right thing."
Read the full report over at The New York Times.