Biden to Ex-Trump Officials: Resign or Be Dismissed!

18 appointees named to U.S. military academy boards by Donald Trump in the final months of the former president’s term in office were reportedly sent termination notices by the Biden administration.

The 18 appointees, including high-profile Trump officials including White House counselor Kellyanne Conway (Air Force Academy), press secretary Sean Spicer (Naval Academy), national security adviser H.R. McMaster (Military Academy), and Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought (Naval Academy) were sent letters telling them to resign or face forced termination. 

Cathy Russell, director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, was said to have sent letters to these appointees. White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed this on Wednesday afternoon at a White House briefing. 

“The President’s objective is what any president’s objective is — to ensure you have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with your values. And so yes, that was an ask that was made,” Psaki told reporters.
However, it seems as though some of the Trump appointees weren’t letting up. Kellyanne Conway responded to the letter on Twitter, saying, “President Biden, I’m not resigning, but you should.”
Conway added, jabbing at the administration’s response on the Afghanistan crisis: “Your decision is disappointing but understandable given the need to distract from a news cycle that has you mired in multiple self-inflicted crises and plummeting poll numbers, including a rise in new COVID cases, a dismal jobs report, inflation, record amount of drugs coming across the southern border, and, of course, the chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan that has left hundreds of Americans and thousands of Afghan allies stranded under Taliban rule.”

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who serves on the Board of Visitors to the Naval Academy, also cited the Afghanistan crises in his statement regarding the termination.

“Instead of focusing on the stranded Americans left in Afghanistan, President Biden is trying to terminate the Trump appointees to the Naval Academy, West Point, and Air Force Academy,” Spicer said. 

Navy academy alumnus who served as director of legislative affairs for Vice President Mike Pence, Jonathan Hiler, has also posted on Twitter, saying he was not resigning.

“As an alum and former naval officer, I believe developing leaders capable of defending our country’s interests at sea — USNA’s mission — is not something that should be consumed by partisan politics. Apparently, President Biden feels differently. @WhiteHouse,” Hiler wrote.

However, the White House denies that these terminations were politically motivated.

Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “I will let others evaluate whether they think Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and others were qualified, or not political, to serve on these boards, but the president’s qualification requirements are not your party registration, they are whether you’re qualified to serve and whether you’re aligned with the values of this administration.”

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