Home » Trump Demands Dismissal of Defense Secretary Over Undisclosed Hospitalization

Trump Demands Dismissal of Defense Secretary Over Undisclosed Hospitalization

by Richard A Reagan

Former President Donald Trump is calling for an immediate dismissal of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for his undisclosed hospitalization. [Source]

“He [Austin] should be fired immediately for improper professional conduct and dereliction of duty. 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,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

Trump continued adding reasons for the dismissal of Austin, “He has performed poorly and should have been dismissed 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.” 

The controversy intensified with revelations that even President Biden was kept in the dark for three days about Austin’s hospitalization. Austin, who faced complications from an elective surgery, was admitted to the intensive care unit of Walter Reed Army Medical Center on New Year’s Day, a fact unknown to his deputy, Kathleen Hicks, and the President.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” labeled the episode as a “dereliction of duty,” insisting on the need for transparency, especially during a period of international strife. [Source]

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, echoed Pence’s sentiment, accusing the Pentagon of failing to duly inform Congress. [Source]

Rep. Jim Banks (Republican-Ind.) criticized Austin’s tenure, accusing him of prioritizing political agendas over military readiness. “Austin has been a disaster since Day One,” he told Axios, advocating for a replacement aligned with a more traditional military focus.

The outcry is not limited to political figures. An unidentified Pentagon official expressed astonishment at the lack of communication, hinting at a potential “cover-up,” as reported by CNN. The incident’s ramifications have sparked a widespread demand for accountability and clarity.

In response, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder informed the public that Austin had transferred “certain operational responsibilities” to Hicks and was alert and monitoring a military strike in Baghdad by Jan. 4. Ryder’s statement revealed that Hicks was unaware of Austin’s hospitalization until days later, raising further questions about internal communication protocols. [Source]

While Austin has since resumed his duties and expressed his commitment to transparency, acknowledging the need for better public communication, the incident has left a mark.

The Secretary of Defense’s unannounced absence during a sensitive period, coupled with the lack of immediate disclosure to key figures, has stoked concerns among Republicans and military officials alike, calling into question the efficacy of communication channels within the highest echelons of the U.S. defense establishment.

Despite these concerns, President Biden has expressed “full trust and confidence” in Secretary Austin, as confirmed by a White House official to Fox News, indicating no imminent change in his position. 

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