Three prominent members of Tennessee’s Republican Party on Thursday denounced U.S. President Joe Biden for demanding that appointees of former U.S. President Donald Trump resign from the U.S. Military Academy’s advisory board.
U.S. Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07), an alumnus of and a member of the United States Military Academy Board of Visitors, addressed the matter in an emailed press release Wednesday.
“Why is President Biden so brazenly breaking the law to fire 18 people duly appointed to the boards of our nation’s Service Academies?” Green asked.
“Is he afraid they’ll conduct actual oversight into the very important challenges each Academy faces? Is he afraid they will shine light on what is being taught at these academies—like Critical Race Theory? Now more than ever, our public institutions need oversight—not political engineering.”
Green said he joined a lawsuit in August concerning the suspension of the service academy Boards of Visitors. The suspension of the Boards of Visitors, Green’s press release said, comes at a time when West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy are all facing multiple challenges, including the teaching of Critical Race Theory and COVID-19 protocols.
Tennessee Republican Party Chair Scott Golden told The Tennessee Star via email Thursday that he opposed Biden’s actions.
“After almost eight months into the Biden/Harris administration, the American public has seen the worst foreign policy disaster in nearly a half-century in Afghanistan, missed jobs report almost monthly, a Covid outbreak that is worst than at any time in 2020, an out of control federal budget along with rising gas prices and yet the fact that the Biden/Harris team has instead chosen to focus their attention on Trump appointments to the Military Service Academy Board of Visitors is absolutely ridiculous and petty,” Golden said.
“Unfortunately, elections have consequences, and I hope that everyone is finally being made aware of what the Republican Party warned about the dangers of a potential Biden Administration in 2020. Voters are smart and attempting to oust your political rivals just to score political points is probably one of the main reasons Joe Biden just received the lowest approval rating since taking office.”
U.S. Representative Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04) told The Star by email Thursday that Biden “from day one has set out to thrash any progress the Trump administration made during their four years out of spite.”
“It is completely unsurprising that this administration is looking to remove honorable Trump appointees before their term is up,” DesJarlais said.
No other Republican members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation returned requests for comment before Thursday’s stated deadline. The Star also contacted staff for Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), and Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) for comment. They also did not respond.
As Just the News reported, “The Biden administration on Wednesday told 11 officials appointed by former President Trump to military service academy boards of visitors that they must either resign or be fired by the end of the day.”
“Members of the U.S. Military Academy’s Board of Visitors (BOV) are appointed by the President and members of Congress to provide independent advice and recommendations to the Academy’s leaders,” Lt. Col. Beth R. Smith, West Point’s director of Public Affairs and Communications, told The Star by email.
She directed any further questions to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Psaki fielded questions on the subject during Wednesday’s press briefing.
“The President’s objective is what any president’s objective is — 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. And so yes, that was an ask that was made,” Psaki reportedly said.
She specifically addressed two high-profile Trump administration officials – Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway – respectively appointed to the advisory boards of the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) and USNA.
“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, but the President’s qualification requirements are not your party registration, they are whether you’re qualified to serve and whether you’re aligned with the values of this administration,” Psaki said.
USAFA did not respond to a comment request in time for publication.
Conway responded on Twitter with an open letter to Biden.
“President Biden, I’m not resigning, but you should,” the tweet with the accompanying letter said.
“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, 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,” the letter said.
Nine other Trump appointees would be affected by the directive, including Lt. General H.R. McMaster, who serves on the advisory board at West Point.
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