Trump appointees to Air Force Academy advisory board told to resign or be dismissed

By David Bitton

President Joe Biden asked 11 former President Donald Trump appointees to resign from military academy advisory boards Wednesday, including three at the Air Force Academy, or be dismissed, the White House confirmed.

Letters went to individuals including Kellyanne Conway, former senior counselor to the president; former press secretary Sean Spicer; and former national security adviser and former Fort Carson top commander H.R. McMaster. They were asked to resign immediately or be dismissed Wednesday evening. They were appointed to the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy and West Point boards respectively.

The three Trump appointees asked to resign from the Air Force Academy’s Board of Visitors include Conway; Heidi Stirrup, a former White House liaison to the Justice Department; and Michael Wynne, former secretary of the Air Force.

“The president’s qualification requirements are not your party registration, they are whether you are qualified to serve and whether you are aligned with the values of this administration,” press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press conference at the White House on Wednesday.

Conway responded on Twitter, saying, "President Biden, I'm not resigning but you should."

The Air Force Academy’s 15-member board includes six presidential appointees and nine members of Congress, with one seat currently open. The board typically meets two or three times each year — its last meeting was in November — and provides “independent advice and recommendations.”

The dismissal of 11 Trump appointees comes less than a week after the Pentagon decided to restart 16 defense advisory boards.

“The Air Force Academy Board of Visitors is an oversight board established to inquire into the morale, discipline, social climate, curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods and other matters relating to the Academy,” according to its website.

Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, one of four Air Force Academy Board of Visitors members appointed by the speaker of the House, took to Twitter as word spread.

“Further proof that Joe Biden is politicizing our military. He does not have the power to unilaterally removed @russvoght or @seanspicer from their positions at the @NavalAcademy. This is in violation of federal law,” Lamborn tweeted.

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