In an unprecedented move, United States President Joe Biden's administration is demanding the immediate resignation of 11 officials who were appointed to the military service academy advisory board by former President Donald Trump or face dismissal.
The individuals that the Democratic leader's party is asking to resign include Sean Spicer, the former Trump White House press secretary, Kellyanne Conway, the former senior counselor to the president, and H.R. McMaster, the former national security adviser. The Republican businessman appointed the officials during his presidency to the advisory boards of the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and West Point, respectively.
Resignation or Forced Dismissal
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the Biden administration's request has been made. The official said that the Democratic president's goal was the same as previous presidents, which was to ensure that qualified individuals were the ones holding positions on the boards.
Psaki said she would let others evaluate whether or not the officials asked to resign were qualified for their positions. She reassured that the Biden administration's requirements did not include which party they were aligned with but whether or not they were aligned with the values of his administration, CNN reported.
The total number of Trump appointees that the Biden administration is asking to resign is 18, includes Michael Wynne, retired Gen. John Keane, Meaghan Mobbs, David Urban, John Coale, and Russell Vought. The request noted that the officials had until 6:00 p.m. to resign or they would be forced to remove from their positions.
The United States president has the authority to appoint six people to each of the board of visitors while Congress fills in the rest. During Trump's presidency, his selected appointees were highly political and controversial and received pushback from Twitter users, ABC News reported.
Refusal To Step Down
In a Twitter post, Vought, the former director of the White House budget office and was appointed to the board of the Naval Academy, declined the request. He captioned the post with, "No. It's a three-year term." Spicer, who was also appointed to the Naval Academy, tweeted similarly, saying Biden should focus on Afghanistan.
On the other hand, Conway said that she would not be stepping down from her post and counter-argued that Biden should be the one to resign as president of the United States. Keane said it was "very disappointing" that President Biden did not plan to uphold the previous president's appointments which have been the tradition in American politics for a long time.
The official noted that when individuals that Trump appointed joined forces with appointees from the Barack Obama administration, the advisory board was "quite stronger" due to its non-partisan partnership. Keane said that one thing appointees shared is the desire to assist and support one of the United States' most esteemed and beloved institutions, the Washington Post reported.
This weekend, McMaster is scheduled to be honored at West Point as a 2021 Distinguished Graduate award recipient. Psaki dismissed accusations that Biden's request for the Trump appointees to resign was politically motivated.