The Biden administration on Wednesday fired 18 appointees picked by former President Donald Trump to military academy boards, the Associated Press reports.
Cathy Russell, the director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, sent letters to 18 Trump appointees on the boards of visits at the Air Force Academy, Military Academy, and Naval Academy directing them to resign by Wednesday or be fired.
The appointees included former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, press secretary Sean Spicer, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought.
It’s unclear if any of the appointees resigned.
"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," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. "But the president's qualification requirements are not your party registration. They are whether you're qualified to serve and whether you are aligned with the values of this administration."
Conway fires back:
Conway posted a statement on Twitter vowing that “I’m not resigning” but telling Biden “you should.”
Conway said that the request is a “break form presidential norms” and “certainly seems petty and political, if not personal.”
“Your decision is disappointing but understandable,” she said, accusing Biden of trying to distract from his “plummeting poll numbers,” the rise in Covid infections, the withdrawal from Afghanistan and other “self-inflicted crises.”
Spicer threatens to sue:
Spicer vowed to sue the administration while discussing the letter on his Newsmax show.
“I will not be submitting my resignation, and I will be joining a lawsuit to fight this,” he said.
"For 22 years I've had the honor of serving alongside some of the most talented, patriotic, and brave individuals this country has to offer," he said. "I've done multiple tours, and politics has never entered into my service."
Others push back:
Vought posted the letter he received from the White House on Twitter.
“No,” he said in response to the request to resign. “It’s a three year term.”
Jonathan Hiller, a former senior aide to Vice President Mike Pence, also said he is “not resigning.”
"As an alum and former naval officer, I believe developing leaders capable of defending our country's interests at sea — USNA's mission — is not something that should be consumed by partisan politics. Apparently, President Biden feels differently,” he said.