2024 Election

Trump demands Biden fire Lloyd Austin for ‘dereliction of duty’

Former President Donald Trump called for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to be fired for “dereliction of duty” on Monday after Austin failed to notify the White House and other important figures of his hospitalization last week.

Trump claimed the secretary was missing for almost one week without many officials knowing where he was. Austin has been hospitalized at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since Jan. 1 for complications following an elective surgery.

The hospitalization included time in the intensive care unit, but details on the procedure have not been released.

“Failed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin should be fired immediately for improper professional conduct and dereliction of duty,” Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social. “He has been missing for one week, and nobody, including his boss, Crooked Joe Biden, had a clue as to where he was, or might be. He has performed poorly, and should have been dismissed long ago, along with ‘General’ Mark Milley, for many reasons, but in particular the catastrophic surrender in Afghanistan, perhaps the most embarrassing moment in the history of our Country!”

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks took over Austin’s duties when necessary, even while she was on a preplanned vacation, the Pentagon said. He resumed full duties on Friday but is still at Walter Reed.

The White House acknowledged it was informed of the hospitalization on Thursday, the same day as the public, but said President Joe Biden remains confident in Austin’s abilities to lead his department. Biden and Austin spoke Friday evening, and the president was “looking forward to him being back at the Pentagon,” according to White House officials.

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Austin apologized for the lack of transparency surrounding his health, especially as the United States faces multiple national security problems around the globe. Tensions in the Middle East have soared amid the Israel-Hamas war and Iran’s increasing anti-American rhetoric.

“I recognize I could have done a better job ensuring the public was appropriately informed. I commit to doing better,” Austin said in a statement on Saturday. “This was my medical procedure, and I take full responsibility for my decisions about disclosure.”

Republican congressional leaders, including House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), called for Austin to resign over the health scandal. However, the bipartisan leaders of the House Armed Services Committee only voiced concerns about the handling of how Austin’s health was disclosed and who was in charge during his absence. 

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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