The Biden administration has forced out nearly a dozen Trump administration appointees from their positions on the advisory boards of U.S. military service academies, the White House confirmed on Wednesday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a press briefing that the administration was seeking to ensure that the advisory board members were “qualified to serve” and “aligned” with President Joe Biden’s values.
Shortly afterwards, White House spokesman Chris Meagher said that all of the Trump appointees “either resigned” or have been “terminated from their position.” Eighteen members of military service advisory boards, including 11 officials appointed by former President Donald Trump, were asked to to resign or be fired.
These included former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway; the former president’s first White House press secretary Sean Spicer; Trump’s second national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; and Russell T. Vought, a former White House Office of Management and Budget director under Trump.
“The president’s objective … was to ensure you have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with our core values,” Psaki said on Wednesday. “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.”
The duties of the boards are “to inquire into the state of morale and discipline, the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods, and other matters relating to the academy which the Board decides to consider.”
Members typically serve the entirety of their three-year terms.
Several of the officials posted screenshots on social media of the letters they said the White House sent them on Wednesday, asking that they either resign by 6 p.m. that day or be fired.
“On behalf of President Biden, I am writing to request your resignation,” White House Personnel Director Cathy Russell wrote to the appointees. “Please submit your resignation to me by the close of business today. Should we not receive your resignation, your position with the Board will be terminated effective 6:00 pm tonight. Thank you.”
Conway shared a letter addressed to Biden, saying that she wouldn’t resign from her advisory position at the Air Force Academy.
“President Biden, I’m not resigning, but you should,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Three former directors of presidential personnel inform me that this request is a break from presidential norms,” Conway wrote in her letter to the president. “It certainly seems petty and political, if not personal.”
Vought posted on Twitter a copy of the letter from Russell, saying he wouldn’t resign as a member of the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy.
“No. It’s a three year term,” Vought wrote on Twitter.
“Instead of focusing on the stranded Americans left in #Afghanistan, President Biden is trying to terminate the Trump appointees to the Naval Academy, West Point and Air Force Academy,” Spicer said on Twitter.
Spicer said on his show on Newsmax that he and other appointees intend to file a lawsuit challenging the decision.
The Epoch Times has contacted the White House for additional comment.