The White House has told a host of officials appointed by former president Trump to the advisory boards of the military academies to resign, or be fired.
CNN first reported the news that ex-Trump allies such as former press secretary Sean Spicer, ex-Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway and former national security advisor H.R. McMaster are among the 11 people asked by the Biden Administration to step down from the boards, or they would be terminated as of Wednesday night. Those three were appointed to the advisory boards of the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and West Point, respectively.
Press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed President Biden put the requests in motion, and defended his right to do so.
“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.”Jen Psaki
While Spicer and Conway were certainly questionable and polarizing choices to join the advisory committees for the service academies, several other appointees raised even more questions about their qualifications. Heidi Stirrup, an advisor on the Air Force Academy board, is a former White House liaison to the Justice Department who was banned from entering the building after she reportedly tried to access sensitive information about possible election fraud last December.
Retired Col. Douglas Macgregor, on the West Point board, has a history of controversial comments. against immigrants, as well as a penchant for spreading conspiracy theories.
Conway went on Twitter to declare she wasn’t resigning.
Another of the appointees, Russ Vought, is also not planning to resign. Vought, you may recall, was Trump’s budget chief for two years. Under his watch overseeing the Office of Budget and Management, the federal debt ballooned by $6 trillion, an unprecedented increase.
He was also the guy who insisted on slashing the CDC’s budget in March of 2020, just as the pandemic was underway.