"There seem to be rumours out there that I threatened to resign".
Spencer also denied the reports directly during a speaking engagement at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada Saturday.
Spencer has said that he supports the decisions of his commanders as they do their jobs, to include disciplinary actions. "I serve at the pleasure of the President", Spencer said on Twitter. He did say that a "formal order" is required to stop the process of demotion - not just a tweet.
This would seem to have defused a conflict between the president and Navy leaders, although it remained possible that Trump could still use his authority as commander in chief to intervene in the volatile and politically charged Gallagher case, despite assurances received by the Navy.
Trump early this month ignored advice from the Pentagon and intervened in three war crimes cases.
In July, he was acquitted of charges related to those accusations, but was convicted of a lesser charge - posing with the slain fighter's body in a group picture with other SEALs.
Critics say the president's support of Gallagher and pardon of convicted war criminals condones illegal acts by USA armed forces, undermines discipline, and puts American service members in danger. "He's involved in every aspect of government and he can make decisions and give orders as appropriate", he said. He was then demoted to chief. "Get back to business!"
However, as Fox News reported, officials pushed back against the Times' "inaccurate" reporting that Green threatened to resign over Trump's push to prevent Gallagher from being booted from the SEAL teams.
Gallagher's lawyers have accused the Navy of trying to remove the SEAL designation in retaliation for Trump's decision to restore his rank.
Appearing on the president's favourite Fox News show, Gallagher doubled down on his allegation that navy officials were retaliating against him.
The Trident Pin, which is worn by Navy SEALs, is awarded following their completion of an intense qualification course and symbolizes membership in the elite military community. At Esper's direction, Gallagher will be allowed to retire as a SEAL at his current rank, Hoffman said. For Chief Gallagher to lose his, a peer-review board composed of one SEAL officer and four senior enlisted SEALs must first review evidence to determine his status.
Gallagher commended other SEALs for "going against the grain" and said many are also being targeted by NAVY brass for "calling out these mean girls for lying", referring to other SEALs who testified against him. "Now they're trying to take it after the president restored my rank".
The Navy has revoked 154 Trident pins since 2011.