Trump Calls On Biden To Fire Defense Chief For ‘Dereliction Of Duty’
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks to guests during a rally at Clinton Middle School on January 06, 2024 in Clinton, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump called on President Joe Biden to terminate Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after the Pentagon chief was incapacitated for days without telling anyone.

Trump posted on Truth Social on Sunday evening that the defense chief should be “fired immediately” after Austin failed to notify the White House or top national security officials for several days that he was hospitalized. Austin checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last week over complications from an elective surgery.

“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,” Trump said. “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!”

Austin checked into Walter Reed on January 1 but never notified the White House, the National Security Council, or Congress until January 4. Austin reportedly spent time in the intensive care unit and remained in recovery in the hospital over the weekend.

While hospitalized, Austin passed off some of his responsibilities to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, who was on vacation in Puerto Rico at the time. Hicks was reportedly left in the dark about Austin’s condition, as well, however.

Austin released a statement on Saturday addressing the “media concerns about transparency” around his hospital stay. He did not address his failure to directly notify the White House, lawmakers, or other top national security officials. He also did not clarify the elective procedure or the complications that led to his hospitalization.

“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,” Austin said. “But this is important to say: this was my medical procedure, and I take full responsibility for my decisions about disclosure.”


Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement over the weekend that the episode was “unacceptable” and exhibited a “shocking defiance of the law” from the Defense Department.

“Worryingly, we now have more questions than answers. Why was the notification process under 5 U.S.C. 3349 not followed and who made the determination not to follow it? What role did the Secretary of Defense’s staff play? When exactly was the President notified?” Wicker said. “What justification did the Department have for withholding information from the National Security Council? To what extent was the Secretary incapacitated by his surgery?”

“The very fact that we have none of this information is an indictment of an administration which consistently holds Congressional authority on national defense matters in contempt,” he said.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Trump Calls On Biden To Fire Defense Chief For ‘Dereliction Of Duty’