Vanity Fair is reporting that President Joe Biden is finally doing what he probably should have done sooner: removing Donald Trump’s political appointees from military advisory boards, more than six months after taking office.
On Wednesday, the White House announced that it had sent letters to Trump appointees to the Board of Visitors for the Air Force, Military, and Naval Academies, including prominent Trump allies like Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer, requesting that they resign or be dismissed.
Though some of the appointees, such as Spicer and retired General H.R. McMaster, have military experience (Spicer is in the Navy Reserve), others have questionable qualifications and were installed in their positions in a rush during Trump’s final days in office.
At the @WhiteHouse press briefing today @PressSec @jrpsaki questioned my qualifications to serve on the Board of Visitors to the US Naval Academy. I responded tonight @newsmax Watch below https://t.co/cz7Ap96Ijc
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) September 8, 2021
The Pentagon has already moved to remove Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and his deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, from their advisory positions.
Now, the administration is removing several others, who have reacted predictably with outrage: Spicer vowed not to resign and threatened to sue the Biden administration, and Conway, in a statement posted on Twitter, also refused to resign and jokingly accused Biden of violating “presidential norms.”
President Biden, I'm not resigning, but you should. pic.twitter.com/HuRYM4bLYP
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 8, 2021
“I’m not resigning,” Conway wrote, “but you should.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shot back on Twitter: “A predictable, if not unfortunate, outcome. Clinging onto vestiges of power against the people’s will is kind of your /Trump’s / the GOP’s thing. When you’re fired, don’t let the fascist victim complex hit you on the way out.”
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A predictable, if not unfortunate, outcome. Clinging onto vestiges of power against the people’s will is kind of your /Trump’s / the GOP’s thing.
When you’re fired, don’t let the fascist victim complex hit you on the way out. 👋🏽 https://t.co/YmsoFmvaPv
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 8, 2021
As White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pointed out Thursday morning, allies of Trump—the man who, among other things, instigated an attack on the US government—accusing someone else of violating presidential norms is beyond absurd.
“There are some people on these boards who have supported or stood by silently while their former boss supported an insurrection,” she told CNN’s John Berman. “That’s really not okay with us.”
White House Press Sec. Jen Psaki says the administration is asking military academy advisory board members to resign for "a fresh layer of people.”
Some “have supported or stood by silently while their former boss supported an insurrection. That's not really OK with us either.” pic.twitter.com/1fpgGMwUjJ
— New Day (@NewDay) September 9, 2021
It’s a valid point, but it didn’t sit well with Trump appointees like Sebastian Gorka, who texted Politico after being asked if he had received a request to resign from his (wholly undeserved) position on the National Security Education Board: “Hey CuckBoy go lick some Democrat’s boots.”
The White House Office of Presidential Personnel had addressed letters to former officials of the Trump administration earlier in the day, requesting them to resign from advisory and visitor’s boards at the US Military Academy, US Naval Academy, and US Air Force Academy. Those who refused to resign would be fired.
Conway was a divisive member of Donald Trump’s administration until she resigned in August 2020, claiming family obligations.
Her husband, George T. Conway III, a conservative lawyer and ardent Trump opponent, also stepped down from the Lincoln Project, a Republican outside group dedicated to defeating Trump in November. He will also take a break from Twitter, which he has frequently used to criticize the former one-term president.
Conway described her tenure in Trump’s administration as “heady” and “humbling,” and said she and George made the decision based on what they believe is best for their four children.
“We disagree about plenty,” she wrote of herself and her husband, “but we are united on what matters most: the kids. Our four children are teens and ‘tweens starting a new academic year in middle school and high school that will be conducted remotely from home for at least a few months. As millions of parents nationwide know, kids ‘doing school from home’ requires a level of attention and vigilance that is as unusual as these times.”
Conway then added: “This is completely my choice and my voice. In time, I will announce future plans. For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama.”
Conway’s high school daughter had made headlines for her political tweets regarding her parents.