Donald Trump called for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s firing following his abrupt absence, where he failed to inform the White House or Congress.
“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 on Truth Social.
“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!” he added.
President Trump is calling for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to “immediately be fired for improper professional conduct and dereliction of duty” after he went missing for an entire week. pic.twitter.com/ga61aNGs8j
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) January 8, 2024
Austin was hospitalized due to complications following a minor elective medical procedure.
The Pentagon kept a lid on Austin’s admission to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center until Friday.
The Defense Department did not disclose the reason for Austin’s treatment or why it kept his hospital stay a secret.
The Pentagon on Sunday released further details about Austin's hospitalization.
From the Associated Press:
The Pentagon released new details Sunday about Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s continued hospitalization, saying he had a medical procedure Dec. 22, went home a day later and was admitted to intensive care Jan. 1 when he began experiencing severe pain.
The latest information came as members of both parties in Congress expressed sharp concerns about the secrecy of Austin’s hospital stay and the fact that the president and other senior leaders were kept in the dark about it for days.
The statement, released by Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, did not, however, provide any details about the medical procedure or what actually happened on Monday to require Austin to be in intensive care at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Ryan said Austin was placed in the hospital’s intensive care unit “due to his medical needs, but then remained in that location in part due to hospital space considerations and privacy.”
The Pentagon’s failure to disclose Austin’s hospitalization, including to President Joe Biden, the National Security Council and top Pentagon leaders, for days reflects a stunning lack of transparency about his illness, how serious it was and when he may be released. Such secrecy, when the United States is juggling myriad national security crises, runs counter to normal practice with the president and other senior U.S. officials and Cabinet members.
GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) called for Austin's resignation Monday morning.
"It is shocking and absolutely unacceptable that the Department of Defense waited multiple days to notify the President, the National Security Council, and the American people that Defense Secretary Austin was hospitalized and unable to perform his duties," Stefanik said.
"This concerning lack of transparency exemplifies a shocking lack of judgment and a significant national security threat. There must be full accountability beginning with the immediate resignation of Secretary Austin and those that lied for him and a Congressional investigation into this dangerous dereliction of duty," she continued.
Per Fox News:
Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives are demanding more information on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s hospitalization and why it was kept under wraps for days before it was finally announced.
The top lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee released a statement on Sunday evening calling for "additional details" on Austin’s condition and why notification was delayed.
"While we wish Sec. Austin a speedy recovery, we are concerned with how the disclosure of the Secretary’s condition was handled," Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and ranking member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said.
"Several questions remain unanswered including what the medical procedure and resulting complications were, what the Secretary’s current health status is, how and when the delegation of the Secretary’s responsibilities were made, and the reason for the delay in notification to the President and Congress.
"Transparency is vitally important. Sec. Austin must provide these additional details on his health and the decision-making process that occurred in the past week as soon as possible."
However, Joe Biden will not accept a resignation from Austin.
Why haven’t we been told why Austin is in the hospital???
And who controlled the nuclear codes when Austin was incapacitated and Biden was traveling outside the continental U.S.?
“Joe Biden won’t accept a Lloyd Austin resignation offer - POLITICO” https://t.co/8qpvBROOEk
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) January 8, 2024
President Joe Biden is not considering firing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after he did not tell the White House about his emergency hospitalization, four senior administration officials told POLITICO.
Beyond that, one official noted, the president would not accept a resignation if Austin were to offer one.
“Austin’s going nowhere,” one of the senior administration officials said.
The Pentagon had already announced that Austin wasn’t planning to resign. “He remains focused on conducting his duties as secretary of Defense in defense of our nation,” DOD spokesperson Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters.
The decision by Biden to stand by Austin comes amid calls from Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, for him to be fired. Austin did not disclose last week that he was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with complications from an undisclosed surgical procedure, raising questions about what ailment he had and why he decided to keep such a sensitive matter secret.