The Pentagon’s new “diversity chief” Richard Torres-Estrada was “reassigned” just days after he was named to the position amidst a U.S. Special Operations Command (USOC) investigation into his social media posts comparing former President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.
“The Commander has directed an investigation to look into the facts surrounding Mr. Torres-Estrada’s selection,” Ken McGraw, a spokesman for the USOC, said. “It would be inappropriate to comment on specifics until the evaluation is complete.”
The Department of Defense chose not to fire Torres-Estrada after mere days after he was hired to ensure “diversity of talent” while recruiting, but “assigned [him] to other duties pending the results of the investigation,” which Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said he has the support of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“Obviously, we take the need to promote diversity and inclusion seriously here in the department,” Kirby said. “The secretary has spoken to that many times. And we certainly want that work to be transparent, to be credible, to be effective, and of course professional.”
Torres-Estrada first posted a comparison photo of Hitler and Trump next to each other, both holding Bibles in the air, in June of 2020, but the Pentagon’s investigation into his controversial social media post did not begin until after Fox News’s Tucker Carlson featured the then-public comments on his Friday evening show.
“This is the guy who now oversees hiring for the SEALs,” Carlson explained. “…The Pentagon is now the Yale faculty lounge, but with cruise missiles. That should concern you.”
Torres-Estrada also received criticism for a post depicting a “missing” sign of Sen. Ted Cruz in February when the Republican landed in hot water for taking a vacation while constituents in his state of Texas were left without power and electricity due to a severe winter storm. The military employee also posted a picture of Trump in July “surrounded by quotes smearing him.”