President Joe Biden is trying to terminate all military academy board members appointed by former President Donald Trump to Naval, Air Force academies, and West Point, prompting them to resist.
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, a member of the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy, on Wednesday, shared a letter from Catherine Russell, Director of White House Office of Presidential Personnel, in which the assistant of President Biden asked for the resignation from the Trump’s official.
“Please submit your resignation to me by the close of business today. Should we not receive your resignation, your position with the Board will be terminated effective 6:00 pm tonight,” Russell wrote on behalf of Biden in the letter dated Sept. 8.
In his response, Spicer—a longtime Navy Reserve officer—tweeted that, “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.”
As Spicer revealed, Biden is pushing to remove many other Trump appointees from their military academy boards regardless of their qualifications.
Russ Vought, former director of Office of Management and Budget, also received a letter with the same content, which requested him to resign from the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy.
He pushed back in a tweet, clarifying that he is serving a three-year term and Biden has no authority to terminate him.
“No. It’s a three year term,” he replied.
Former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway also responded to the request from the White House, saying she will not step down, but Biden should instead.
“I’m not resigning, but you should,” Conway wrote in a tweet, attached with a long statement.
In her statement, Conway said the move is “a break from presidential norms” and “certainly seems petty and political.”
“The result is that faithfull and willing public servants will be discouraged or thwarted from service. Our service academies will risk being further politicized and polarized,” she wrote.
“Your decision is disappointing but understandable given the need to distract from a news circle that has you mired in multiple self-inflicted crises and plummeting poll numbers, including a rise in new COVID cases, a dismal job 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,” she continued.
Refusing to resign, Conway said that it is her honor to serve on the Board of Visitors to the United States Air Force Academy.
According to New York Post, six presidential appointees on each academy board, or 18 people in total, were requested to resign almost immediately or be terminated.
“I think this complete purge shows that the administration is hellbent on the woke mob controlling or having input into military education. Otherwise, why do it?” said one of the board members, who pointed out that Trump did not perform a similar purge.
“This is why this is such a big deal: historically it has never been done. ‘Unprecedented’ is a word you could use here,” the board member said.
According to the Post, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the administration’s terminations by scoffing at their qualifications.
“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 at her daily press briefing. “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.”