Military Academy Board Members Defy Joe Biden, Refuse to Resign

Some prominent members of former President Donald Trump's administration have publicly refused to resign from their positions on the advisory boards of military academies following a request from the Biden administration.

Eighteen Trump-appointed members of military academy boards received letters on Wednesday asking them to resign by the close of business or be fired by 6pm. The panels in question are the boards of visitors of the Military Academy, Naval Academy and Air Force Academy.

Four of those who were asked to resign have publicly said they will not do so, including prominent Trump administration figures Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer.

Conway, who served as senior counselor to former President Trump, took to Twitter on Wednesday to say she would not resign from the Air Force Academy board.

"President Biden, I'm not resigning, but you should," Conway tweeted, sharing a letter addressed to the president.

In that letter, Conway said Biden's decision was "disappointing but understandable given the need to distract from a news cycle that has you mired in multiple self-inflicted crises and plummeting poll numbers."

President Biden, I'm not resigning, but you should.

— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 8, 2021

Sean Spicer, who served as White House press secretary from January to July 2017, told viewers during his Newsmax show on Wednesday that he wouldn't resign and will join a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the matter. A commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Spicer was appointed to the Naval Academy board.

Spicer took aim at White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for her comments about his qualifications to serve in the role, saying: "Don't you dare ever minimize or question my service to this nation, you got it?"

"This move has taken partisanship to a new level," he said.

Russell Vought, who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Trump, shared the letter he'd received on Twitter and made it clear he wasn't going to resign.

"No. It's a three-year term," Vought wrote, tagging the White House's official Twitter account.

Meaghan Mobbs, who serves on the Military Academy board at West Point and is an Afghanistan veteran, also refused to resign.

"Frankly, I find this whole act unconscionable and not all in the spirit by which this Administration promised to govern. President Biden ran on a supposed platform of unity but his actions speak directly to the contrary. Apparently, unity is only for those who conform," Mobbs said in a statement shared on Twitter.

Others who were asked to resign include retired generals H.R. McMaster, Jack Keane and Guy Swan, Washington attorney John Coale, retired colonel and Pentagon official Douglas Macgregor and lobbyist David Urban.

Keane told Politico it was "very disappointing that President Biden is not upholding the previous president's appointments which has been pretty much the tradition"

Coale said he was "pissed off" at the move and Urban told CNN he agreed with Meaghan Mobbs' assessment.

Psaki discussed the administration seeking the resignations on Wednesday.

"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, 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," Psaki said.

Kellyanne Conway Speaks to Trump Supporters
Former Counselor to the President of the United States Kellyanne Conway speaks to Trump supporters at a Make America Great Again event with First Lady Melania Trump in Atglen, Pennsylvania, on October 27, 2020. Conway on Wednesday refused to resign from the Board of Visitors of the Air Force Academy. GABRIELLA AUDI/AFP/Getty Images