Friday, November 26

Biden tells former Trump officials at military academies they are resigning


(CNN) — The Joe Biden administration has told 11 officials appointed by former President Donald Trump to advisory boards of US military academies to resign or be removed, a source familiar with the situation tells CNN’s KFile.

Among those who have been asked to resign are prominent former Trump officials such as former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, former senior adviser to President Kellyanne Conway and former national security adviser HR McMaster. They were appointed to the advisory boards of the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and West Point, respectively.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the request Wednesday afternoon.

“The goal of the president is the same as that of any president: to make sure that he has nominees and people who serve on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with his values. So yeah, that was a request that it was done, “Psaki told reporters at a White House briefing.

Psaki added: “I will let others assess whether or not they believe Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and others were qualified, politically, to serve on these councils, but the President’s qualification requirements are not their party record, they are qualified. to serve and if they are aligned with the values ​​of this administration. “

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United States President Joe Biden.

Other more prominent names are those of Heidi Stirrup, former White House liaison with the Justice Department, who was barred from entering the building after attempting to access sensitive information about possible election fraud in December 2020, and retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor, former ambassador and official Pentagon with a controversial comment history. The duo were appointed to the Air Force Academy and West Point boards.

Other appointees who have been asked to resign include Michael Wynne, who was appointed to the Air Force Academy board; Retired General John Keane, Meaghan Mobbs and David Urban appointed to the West Point board; and John Coale and Russell Vought, the former director of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, appointed to the Naval Academy board.

The removal of Trump officials from military advisory boards comes after the Pentagon It recently restarted its other advisory boards after eliminating hundreds of other board appointees in February. In November, just months before he left office, Trump fired several longtime members of the Defense Policy Board before their terms ended.

The advisory boards of the military academies, according to the Air Force Academy website, were established to oversee “morale, discipline, social climate, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs. , academic methods, and other matters “related to the nation’s military academies. The council of each academy meets several times a year and its members provide independent advice and recommendations to the President.

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Members typically serve three-year terms. At least one of those appointed by Trump, Vought, has signaled that he will not resign.

“No. It’s a three-year term,” he tweeted. Vought, attaching an image of the letter requesting his resignation.

When contacted by CNN for comment, Spicer said he intends to respond to the resignation demand on his show. Wynne told CNN that “it was an honor to be on the board,” and said he was disappointed that he was not asked to remain on the board.

“Very disappointed to see that the Biden administration does not honor the appointment of a previous chairman to the visitor’s board, which has been the tradition for years,” Keane told CNN.

In a statement, Mobbs said he would not resign.

“Frankly, it seems to me that this whole act is inconceivable and does not fit the spirit in which this administration promised to rule. President Biden presented himself with a supposed platform of unity, but his actions speak directly to the contrary. Apparently, unity it’s only for those who settle, “Mobbs said. “When I joined the board under the Trump administration, there were holdovers from the Obama administration. They were not fired, but served alongside those appointed by Trump. This mix of perspective, experience, and belief systems ensured there was diversity, value. that the Democratic Party intends to maintain above all else. “

West Point Military Academy cadets toss their caps in the air during the Class of 2014 graduation ceremony.
(Credit: JIM WATSON / AFP / Getty Images).

Responding to CNN, Urban said that Mobbs’ statement reflected his views.

Conway posted a statement on Twitter addressed to Biden, calling the news “petty and political” and saying he would not resign.

“His decision is disappointing, but understandable, given the need to distract from a news cycle that has him mired in multiple self-inflicted crises and falling poll numbers,” Conway wrote.

CNN has also reached out to Macgregor, Stirrup, Coale and McMaster for their comments.

CNN’s KFile has previously reported that Macgregor, who served in the Trump administration as a senior adviser to the Pentagon and was nominated to the West Point board late last year, despised immigrants, refugees and minorities and spread conspiracy theories that the Biden administration was replacing whites of European descent.




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