The Biden administration has ousted 18 people former President Trump appointed to military academy advisory boards in his final months in office—and some of them aren't going quietly. Trump allies including former press secretary Sean Spicer received letters Wednesday saying their positions would be terminated at 6pm that day if they didn't resign first. It's not clear whether any of them resigned before the deadline, the AP reports. Spicer, a Newsmax anchor, said on the network Wednesday night that he will not resign and he plans to sue Biden over his ousting from the Naval Academy board, reports Insider.
Spicer and former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway accused Biden of firing Trump appointees to distract from the Afghanistan withdrawal and other issues. Conway, who was on the Air Force Academy board, tweeted that Biden should resign instead, calling the ousting "petty and political." Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Conway's reaction was "predictable." "Clinging onto vestiges of power against the people’s will is kind of your /Trump’s / the GOP’s thing," she said. "When you’re fired, don’t let the fascist victim complex hit you on the way out."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Wednesday that the letters had been sent. She said Biden's objective, as with any president, is to "have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with your values," per CNN. Spicer, who joined the US Navy Reserve in 1999 and holds the rank of commander, angrily addressed Psaki's remarks on Newsmax, saying, "Don’t you dare ever minimize or question my service to this nation, you got it? "
Board members, who are usually appointed to three-year terms, meet several times a year and provide advice to the academies and the president. Washington lawyer John Coale, who was appointed to the Naval Academy board, tells Politico that he is "pissed off" about getting fired before he could attend a single meeting. Retired Gen. Jack Keane, who was on the West Point board, says it is "very disappointing" that Biden isn't upholding the previous administration's appointees, which had been "pretty much the tradition." (Read more Biden administration stories.)