White House Requests Resignation of Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, Other Donald Trump Appointees

Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer fired back at the Biden administration for attempting to remove them from their positions

KellyAnne Conway, Sean Spicer
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty (2)

The White House says it has ousted 18 appointees named to U.S. military academy boards by then-president Donald Trump, according to The Associated Press.

Among those removed from their roles include former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, press secretary Sean Spicer and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, per the report.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the 18 individuals were sent a letter requesting their resignation by close of business on Wednesday or they would face termination.

KellyAnne Conway, Sean Spicer
Chip Somodevilla/Getty (2)

"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," Psaki, 42, told reporters.

Instead, she said President Joe Biden is focused on working with those that foster similar values to his own.

"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," she added.

When asked about the potential politicization of these positions, Psaki said, "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."

Gerald Herbert/AP

In a letter posted on Twitter, Conway, 54, accused Biden of breaking presidential norms by attempting to remove her from her position on the Board of Visitors to the United States Air Force Academy.

The former White House counselor said the move seemed "petty and political, if not personal" and suggested the president was attempting to "distract" from the current news cycle, including his handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"I'm not resigning, but you should," Conway ended her letter.

Spicer, 49, took a similar approach in his criticism of the Biden administration's request. On Twitter, the Dancing with the Stars alum accused the president of playing politics while Americans remain stranded in Afghanistan.

"Instead of focusing on the stranded Americans left in #Afghanistan, President Biden is trying to terminate the Trump appointees to the Naval Academy, West Point and Air Force Academy," he wrote.

Sean Spicer. Getty

Later that evening, Spicer announced he too would not resign from his role on the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy during his show Spicer and Co. on Newsmax. He also promised to join a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the "unprecedented move."

Spicer also took issue with Psaki's comments regarding the qualification of some Trump appointees, suggesting she "crossed a line."

"Each of us chooses how we're going to serve this country. I won't question how anyone chooses to do that," he said, before directing his comments toward the current White House press secretary. "Don't you dare ever minimize or question my service to this nation! You got it?"

Former Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought, who was appointed to the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy by Trump, also pushed back against the request in a brief tweet: "No. It's a three year term."

Critics have called out the irony of Conway's claims that Biden is "breaking presidential norms," noting that President Trump was known to break more than a few presidential norms himself, and frequently ousted those who he deemed to be disloyal during his own tenure in office.

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