The Biden Administration has told eleven Trump appointees, that were appointed to serve on the board of visitors of military service academies, to resign or be fired.
President Donald Trump appointed a number of loyalists, including former spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway to the Air Force Academy’s Board of Visitors, former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought to the Naval Academy’s panel and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster to the West Point’s panel, among others.
In a White House briefing Wednesday afternoon, Jen Psaki confirmed the request has been made.
“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.
“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,” Psaki added.
The appointees were appointed to a three-year term, and most have commented they will not resign. Several of those appointed have made comments on their twitter accounts.
Meaghan Mobbs, a former Captain, Afghanistan War veteran and Trump campaign adviser who serves on the West Point panel, tweeted that she did not intend to resign. She said, “When I joined the board, there were Obama appointees on the board who completed their terms without controversy.”
In a statement issued by Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), who is one of eight members of Congress to serve on West Point’s board alongside Mobbs and McMaster, and also sits on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, condemned the move.
Womack states, “It’s an action of a dictator, not a Commander-In-Chief. Playing politics with these institutions sends the wrong message to our future military leaders. The USMA Board has been well-serviced by its appointed members, and the unilateral removal of their wise counsel is a shame.”