Retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane blasted President Biden on Friday as ‘petty’ for firing him from the West Point advisory board, and insisted that Trump appointees and Obama appointees put aside any differences for the good of the country’s military academies.
He was one of 18 Trump-appointed figures on three military academy advisory boards told by the White House on Wednesday to resign or be fired.
‘It’s petty,’ he told Fox News.
‘It’s very partisan … because the basis for removal is we were appointed by the previous president, President Trump.
‘And it’s also wrong. Because, what has happened is, presidents have always honoured the appointments of their previous president who made them.’
Several prominent figures publicly refused to resign, including Sean Spicer, President Trump’s former press secretary, and Kellyanne Conway, former White House adviser.
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‘It’s petty,’ said Fox News contributor Gen. Jack Keane. ‘It’s very partisan … because the basis for removal is we were appointed by the previous president, President Trump’
Biden’s purge of Trump appointees on the non-partisan military advisory boards
Kellyanne Conway: Former senior counselor to the president who was picked for the Air Force Academy advisory board.
Sean Spicer: Ex-press secretary who Trump picked for the Naval Academy Board of visitors.
H.R. McMaster: Former national security adviser appointed to the West Point advisory board.
Russell Vought: Trump’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget, appointed to the Naval Academy’s board
Heidi Stirrup and Michael Wynne: Appointed to the board of the Air Force Academy.
Retired Gen. Jack Keane, Retired Col. Douglas Macgregor, Former U.S. Army North commander Guy Swan III, Meaghan Mobbs, and David Urban: All appointed to the West Point board
Jonathan Hiler, John Coale, Anthony Parker and Joseph Walsh: All appointed to the Naval Academy’s board
But their polarizing personalities were cited by Biden supporters as proof that they were unsuitable for serving on the boards.
Keane dismissed that criticism and said appointees dropped partisan politics for getting on with the job.
‘We never thought of each other as Trump appointees or Obama appointees. We thought of ourselves as the Board of Visitors entrusted with oversight of something that we really cared about,’ he said.
‘And we were honored to be able to support such an esteemed and beloved institution as West Point whose remarkable history is synonymous with the history of the country.
‘We rolled up our sleeves and most everyone I saw at the board was committed to helping West Point, and that’s kind of what the president’s putting us on there to do.’
Several of the figures say they will challenge their dismissals.
Speaking on his Newsmax show on Wednesday night, Spicer said: ‘I’m announcing for tonight for the first time that I will not be submitting my resignation and I will be joining a lawsuit to fight this.
Six of the appointees asked to resign serve with the Air Force Academy, six serve with the Military Academy and six serve with the Naval Academy.
Other members include, H.R. McMaster, Heidi Stirrup, Michael Wynne, Jack Keane, Douglas Macgregor, Guy Swan III, Meaghan Mobbs, David Urban, Jonathan Hiler, John Coale, Anthony Parker and Joseph Walsh.
Several accused the White House of politicizing the roles.
Meaghan Mobbs, a West Point graduate and former Trump adviser on military family issues, wrote in her response to the demand: ‘It is tragic that this great institution is now being subjected to and hijacked by partisan action that serve no purpose and no greater good.
was one of 18 Trump-appointed figures on three military academy advisory boards told by the White House on Wednesday to resign or be fired. Trump presents him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in March, 2020
David Urban and Russ Vought were all sent letters demanding they resign or be dismissed at 6pm on Wednesday evening
‘Make no mistake, the move to terminate duly appointed presidential appointees sets a dangerous precedent for future administrations and undermines our institutions.’
The White House defended the move with a dig at two of the most controversial appointments.
‘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,’ said Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
‘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.’
Conway later slammed the move.
‘I’m not sure that’s legal but it certainly is low-class,’ she told Fox News‘ Sean Hannity Thursday
‘Let me explain what these positions are. We are uncompensated volunteers, we are appointed for three years by a president, in this case, President Trump.’