The Biden administration moved Wednesday to oust 18 allies of Donald Trump who were named to US military academy boards in the final months of the Republican president's term in office. Cathy Russell, director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, sent letters to 18 people named to the boards of visitors for the Air Force Academy, Military Academy, and Naval Academy saying they would be terminated if they did not resign by the close of business Wednesday, the AP reports.
Among those Biden sought to remove are some high-profile former Trump administration officials, including White House counselor Kellyanne Conway (Air Force Academy), press secretary Sean Spicer (Naval Academy), national security adviser HR McMaster (US Military Academy) and Office of Management and budget director Russell Vought (Naval Academy).
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the former Trump officials were asked to resign or face firing. "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,” Psaki said. “But the president’s qualification requirements are not your party registration. They are whether you’re qualified to serve and whether you are aligned with the values of this administration.”
Several of those called on to resign pushed back. Conway jabbed at Biden, "I’m not resigning but you should.” She went on in a statement to call it a "disappointing but understandable" effort to distract from the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, a rise in COVID cases, and a disappointing August jobs report. Vought tweeted the letter he received from Russell and responded, “No. It’s a three year term.”
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