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Former Trump officials like Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer are getting kicked off military-academy boards

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US naval academy
The US Naval Academy. Patrick Semansky/AP Photo
  • The Biden administration is removing Trump appointees from military-academy advisory boards.

  • Officials getting the boot include Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, and H.R. McMaster.

  • The White House press secretary said President Joe Biden wanted appointees who were "qualified."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Biden administration is cleaning house at military-academy advisory boards.

The White House Office of Presidential Personnel sent letters Wednesday to numerous holdovers from the Trump administration asking them to resign from their posts on advisory and visitor's boards for schools such as the US Military Academy, the US Naval Academy, and the US Air Force Academy.

The former officials getting the boot for those boards before the end of their three-year terms include the former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, the former national security advisor H.R. McMaster, the former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, and the retired Col. Doug MacGregor.

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, confirmed the firings, first reported by the Military Times, Politico, and CNN, on Wednesday.

"The president's objective is what any president's objective is, was to ensure you have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with your values," Psaki said in her daily briefing. "And so yes, that was an ask that was made. 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."

Board members typically include lawmakers, alumni, and retired officers whose role is to supervise the academy's leadership in training and educating future military officers. These appointees are not expected to be apolitical, but the Trump administration stretched the norms of these boards and other advisory boards with droves of last-minute appointments.

Some of the booted board members are pushing back.

Russell Vought, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Donald Trump, tweeted, "No. It's a three year term," in response to the letter he received from Catherine Russell, the director of the personnel office, asking him to resign from the board of visitors at the US Naval Academy by 6 p.m. Wednesday or be removed.

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Another Trump appointee to the Naval Academy visitor's board, John Coale, told Politico he was also axed and was "pissed off" about it.

Meaghan Mobbs, a Trump appointee to the West Point Board who served in Afghanistan, responded to the White House in a statement posted to Twitter.

"I find this whole act unconscionable and not all in the spirit by which this Administration promised to govern," she said. "President Biden ran on a supposed platform of unity but his actions speak directly to the contrary. Apparently, unity is only for those who conform."

Conway, in a letter to Biden that she posted to Twitter, said the decision to kick her off the Air Force Academy visitors' board "seems petty and political, if not personal."

Insider reported in August that more than 40 Trump administration appointees on other prominent federal boards and commissions - including the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, the US Holocaust Memorial Council, and the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition - had spread baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election or participated in and backed efforts to overturn it.

Other well-known former Trump officials and allies serving on those boards include Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general; the former NFL player and current Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker; former Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell; Andrew Giuliani; the Ohio House candidate Max Miller; and Matt Schlapp.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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