Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer Among Trump Loyalists Ousted From Advisory Boards After Refusing To Resign
The Biden administration purged several former Trump administration officials who were appointed by former President Donald Trump to federal advisory boards after some publicly refused to resign.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the move during a press briefing on Wednesday, telling reporters Biden’s objective is to ensure the board members are “qualified to serve on them” and “aligned with [his] values.”
The list includes former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought, who are on the Naval Academy’s board of visitors, and former senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, who is on the Air Force Academy’s board.
Vought, who Biden accused of hampering the OMB’s transition, and Spicer tweeted photos of the letters they received, with Vought stating, “No. It’s a three year term,” while Conway sent a letter to Biden telling him, “I’m not resigning, but you should.”
Conway, one of Trump’s most visible political advisers during his time in the White House, said the move “seems petty and political, if not personal,” also alleging the effort to purge the typically non-political boards it is a “break from presidential norms.”
The letters informed each appointee their positions would be terminated effective 6:00 p.m. Wednesday.
Psaki said during the briefing she will “let others evaluate whether… Kellyanne Conway or Sean Spicer and others were qualified or not political,” adding that Biden’s qualification requirements are “not your party registration.”
In the waning days of his presidency, Trump used prestigious advisory boards and commissions as a reward for loyalty in what some experts described as abnormally political manner, giving board seats to former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; former National Security Adviser Richard Grenell; former White House communications directors Stephanie Grisham and Hope Hicks; his former impeachment lawyer Pam Bondi; and Andrew Giuliani, the son of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The Biden administration already took steps shortly after the inauguration to dislodge some Trump appointees from more consequential boards. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin purged all the Pentagon’s advisory boards in February, dislodging Trump loyalists like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
11. That’s the number of Trump-appointed board members the White House has asked to resign, according to CNN and the Washington Post. In addition to Conway, Vought and Spicer, the list also reportedly includes former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Ret. four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane.