The statement comes hours after director of the White House Presidential Office Catherine Russell wrote a letter to members of federal advisory boards asking them to resign or be dismissed by 6pm local time. The White House said Biden’s objective is to have appointees, who are “qualified to serve” on advisory boards.
Kellyanne Conway has said she won’t comply with Joe Biden’s request to resign from the board of the Air Force Academy. The former senior counsellor to former president Donald Trump posted a screenshot of a letter she sent to the Democrat.
Conway, who served under Trump, described the request as “petty and political, if not personal” and said it will discourage faithful and willing public servants from serving the country. She added that its aim is reportedly to distract the public from a series of problems the Biden administration has recently faced.
“Your decision is disappointing but understandable given the need to distract from a news cycle that has you mired in multiple self-inflicted crises and plummeting poll numbers, including a rise in new COVID cases, a dismal jobs report, inflation, a 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,” Conway wrote before adding: “I’m not resigning, but you should.”
President Biden, I’m not resigning, but you should. pic.twitter.com/HuRYM4bLYP
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 8, 2021
The New York Post reported that the Biden administration is firing all federal advisory board members that were appointed by former president Donald Trump. In total 18 people will be laid off, including former National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster, who disagreed with Trump on foreign policy issues, retired four-star Army General Jack Keane and ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the newspaper said.
One individual, who spoke to the outlet, described the move as an “unprecedented purge”. As mentioned earlier, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s objective is to have nominees that are “qualified to serve” on these boards and “who are aligned” with the president’s values.
Jonathan Hiler, member of the Naval Academy board, who also received a request to resign, said he doesn’t understand the “basis for this purge”.
“A plain reading of the statute that created the Board in 1879, which includes traditionally bipartisan appointments by congressional leaders, says the president’s appointees serve three-year terms. To my knowledge, the Service Academy Boards have always enjoyed a tradition of bi-partisanship,” he said.
Refusal to Comply
Just like Kellyanne Conway, many board members voiced their opposition to the administration’s request. Former Director of the Office Management and Budget Russell Vought, a member of the Naval Academy board, tweeted the following statement:
— Russ Vought (@russvought) September 8, 2021
Longtime Navy Reserve officer Sean Spicer has harshly criticised the Biden administration stressing that the boards have been free from politics and worked in a bipartisan way for decades.
“For 22 years I’ve had the honour of serving alongside some of the most talented, patriotic and brave individuals this country has to offer. I’m a proud graduate of the US Naval War College. I’ve done multiple tours and politics has never entered into my service. I’ve served under five different presidents of both parties. As officers, we take an oath to the constitution, not to a party. Don’t you dare ever minimise or question my service to this nation. You got it? Not one Obama appointee on these boards when [Donald] Trump came in. This move has taken partisanship to a new level,” Spicer said adding that he and other members of the boards will challenge the decision in court.