Trump Calls for Defense Secretary to Be ‘Fired Immediately’ for Displaying ‘Improper Professional Conduct’

Former President Trump’s reaction comes as congressional representatives from both parties have voiced concerns over Lloyd Austin’s secretive hospital stay and the fact that President Joe Biden and other top officials were not informed for days about his condition.

Trump reacts

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Former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social to rant about Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as questions about the Biden official’s secretive hospital stay continued.

Calls on Biden to fire Austin

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“Failed Secretary of Defense Lloyd 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,” he wrote.

Harsh words

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The GOP frontrunner then launched a fresh attack on Mark Milley, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Trump appointed Milley during his term in office but has since said he deserves to be executed.

Humiliating Afghanistan withdrawal

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“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!” Trump added.

In the dark

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Austin’s mysterious hospitalization caused a major fallout after it emerged that neither his deputy secretary of defense nor the White House was informed about it for several days.

Pentagon covering for Austin

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The Pentagon announced that Austin was admitted to intensive care in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on January 1 after suffering complications from an elective medical procedure he underwent on December 22. The Pentagon’s statement, released by Air Force Major General Patrick Ryder, did not disclose Austin’s medical procedure or what happened to him that required his stay in intensive care.

Biden unaware

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Austin could not perform his duties during his four days in the intensive care unit. But despite this, President Joe Biden wasn’t told of his hospitalization for three days after his admission until national security adviser Jake Sullivan informed him.

As was Austin’s deputy

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Austin’s deputy, Kathleen Hicks, also only found out after three days, despite her being assigned some of Austin’s duties in his absence two days before, according to a senior defense official.

New Year’s vacation

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Hicks was on vacation in Puerto Rico at the time. When she was finally informed of the real reason for taking on Austin’s duties, she said she made plans to return to the capital. But the day after, she was told that Austin would fully resume his duties, so she decided not to return.

Austin admits mistake

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Austin later released a statement admitting that he could have “done a better job” in being transparent about his stay in intensive care. “I am very glad to be on the mend and look forward to returning to the Pentagon soon,” he said.

Understanding Austin

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“I also understand the media concerns about transparency and I recognize I could have done a better job ensuring the public was appropriately informed. I commit to doing better. But this is important to say: this was my medical procedure, and I take full responsibility for my decisions about disclosure.”

Republican demands transparency

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The top member of the GOP on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, Roger Wicker, also criticized Austin’s secretive handling of his hospital stay. “When one of the country’s two national command authorities is unable to perform their duties, military families, members of Congress, and the American public deserve to know the full extent of the circumstances.”

White House backs Austin

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The White House resisted calls to fire Austin, with spokesman John Kirby telling reporters, “There is no plan for anything other than for Secretary Austin to stay in the job.”

Biden focused on Secretary’s recovery

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“We’ll do what’s akin to a hot wash and try to see if processes and procedures need to be changed at all or modified so that we can learn from this,” Kirby added. “The president’s number one focus is on his [Mr. Austin’s] health and recovery, and he’s looking forward to having him back at the Pentagon as soon as possible.”

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