The Biden White House has begun the process of removing Trump allies from military advisory boards, months after they were installed into those posts at the end of the last administration.
On Wednesday, Cathy Russell, the director of the White House’s Presidential Personnel Office, sent a letter to Russell Vought, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Trump administration, advising him that he’d be fired from his post on the Naval Academy’s board of visitors unless he chose to resign.
“On behalf of President Biden, I am writing to request your resignation as a Member of the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy,” Russell wrote, according to the letter that Vought subsequently posted on Twitter. “Please submit your resignation to me by the close of business today. Should we not receive your resignation, your position with the Board will be terminated effective 6:00 p.m. tonight” [MSN].
Vought, who earlier this year founded the Center for Renewing America, tweeted out his refusal to comply. “No,” he responded. “It’s a three year term.” John Coale, a top Washington lawyer, who was also appointed to the Naval Academy board by Trump on Jan. 5, was also removed and said in a text message he was “pissed off” he was fired, adding that he never even got to go to a meeting.
Other former Trump officials appointed to similar boards were also threatened with firing on Wednesday, including all the Trump appointees to the West Point board of visitors, such as former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, lobbyist David Urban and retired Gen. Jack Keane, according to one of the fired board members. Later this week McMaster is getting honored by West Point’s Association of Graduates as a Distinguished Graduate of the academy [Politico].
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