The Biden administration told 11 Trump-appointed individuals they must resign or be fired from their positions on military service academy boards of visitors, and leading Arizona Republicans are speaking up about it. The appointees include former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, former senior counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and former director of the Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought. Others include top former military brass.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who served in the National Guard reserves, including as a Command Staff Judge Advocate, told The Arizona Sun Times, “It is abundantly clear that choosing the right people to lead our nation’s military is not the Biden Administration’s strength. Categorically removing distinguished men and women who have faithfully served our military boards for years is a shameful example of how the Biden Administration continues to put its radical politics above the safety of all Americans.”
Former local news anchor Kari Lake, who is running as a Republican for governor of Arizona, told The Sun Times, “After the horrific acts we saw in the failed Afghanistan pull-out, and now this unprecedented attack on our Veterans here at home, it’s not a question of IF Joe Biden hates our servicemen and women, but rather how much he actually hates them and how far he will go to hurt them?” She went on, “And now we are seeing further evidence that the loved ones of our fallen servicemen agree. Gold Star families are refusing to allow Joe Biden to attend the funerals of their loved ones killed in action, instead choosing to invite President Trump, a president who always supported the men and women in uniform. Who can blame them?”
Rep. Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake), who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years, winning a Bronze Star for combat action as a tank commander in Iraq, had this to say to The Sun Times, “President Biden’s decision to fire high-profile, qualified individuals from the Trump Administration, like Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer, from their duly-appointed positions on military boards is despicable. In addition to the introduction of critical race theory, it represents another step in Biden’s long march towards the total politicization of our most sacred institution: the U.S. military.”
Rep. Steve Kaiser (R-Phoenix), who served as a captain in the U.S. Army and won a Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan, told The Sun Times, “The Biden administration continues to prioritize politics over sound decision making. While Afghanistan burns and we leave Americans and our allies behind, this disastrous administration decides that it’s important to remove Trump appointees from our Military Academy Boards. Our future Officers should not be used as political pawns. President Biden needs to stay in his lane and focus on repairing the damage he has done in Afghanistan.” Kaiser is the author of a book about his experiences, Doorstep Diplomacy.
Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), known for spearheading various efforts with fellow Arizona legislators, told The Sun Times, “Biden’s decision to purge well-respected and highly decorated military professionals from their advisory roles is a disgrace and yet another demonstration of his naked partisanship at the expense of our heroes in uniform. He left Americans behind in Afghanistan and now he’s willfully installing wokeism and ‘yes men’ at every level of our military apparatus, putting the lives of our brave military men and women at risk for years to come.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted during a briefing that they removed people who aren’t “aligned with your values.” She specifically labeled Spicer and Conway as “political.”
Conway tweeted that she would not resign, telling Biden to instead. She said in a letter attached to her tweet that she’d spoken with “[t]hree former Directors of Presidential Personnel” who had informed her “that this request is a break from presidential norms.” “It certainly seems petty and political, if not personal,” she asserted.
President Biden, I'm not resigning, but you should. pic.twitter.com/HuRYM4bLYP
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 8, 2021
Spicer, a graduate of the US Naval War college who served multiple tours, said Biden was firing them because “they want to inject liberal ideology — like Critical Race Theory — into the curriculum without pushback.” He pointed out that McMaster will receive the highest honor West Point instills on graduates on September 11. Until now, those boards were “free from politics.” He said he is joining others in a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the firing.
If you’re wondering why they would want 0 oversight on these boards, let’s be clear: they want to inject liberal ideology — like Critical Race Theory — into the curriculum without pushback.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) September 9, 2021
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
Vought tweeted that he wouldn’t resign since it is a three-year term.
No. It’s a three year term. @WhiteHouse pic.twitter.com/c9pZOENNPR
— Russ Vought (@russvought) September 8, 2021
The Sun Times asked West Point and the Naval Academy for comment but they dodged the requests. The Naval Academy pointed to their statutes — but their statutes state that board members shall serve for three years.
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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.