Former President Donald Trump is reportedly outraged that America’s Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, was hospitalized in critical condition for several days last week without Congress, the Pentagon or the White House being notified.
Claiming Austin’s decision to withhold information on his medical condition put America’s security at risk, Trump is now demanding the secretary of Defense be “fired immediately.”
Trump, well known for his use of the phrase “You’re fired,” was quick to express his opinion on what has become an embarrassing incident for the White House.
Writing on his Truth Social platform, former President Donald Trump was quick to criticize the communications gaffe, arguing that Austin’s secretive movements were especially serious because not even his deputy, Kathleen Hicks, was told the secretary was rushed to the intensive care unit.
Trump wrote: “Failed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin should be fired immediately for improper professional conduct and dereliction of duty.”
Trump continued: “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!” Trump added.
Austin was reportedly admitted to Walter Reed Medical Hospital on Jan. 1 for an elective procedure but was held for an extended period due to unforeseen medical complications — the specifics of which have not yet been reported.
Austin reportedly informed the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of his hospitalization the day after he was placed in the Walter Reed Intensive Care Unit, but government leaders note the chairman is not in the chain of command.
Concerned leaders note they were not notified of Austin’s medical incapacity until Friday. Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder reported that Austin’s chief of staff, Kelly Magsamen did not notify Congress of Austin’s medical condition until Friday because she was “unable to make notifications” due to her own illness.
The New York Post confirmed that Austin failed to inform President Biden for the three days he was hospitalized, and that “it remains unclear the extent to which Austin’s duties were delegated to Hicks or whether Austin was involved in any major decisions while at the hospital.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence joined Trump in criticizing the breach of protocol. During a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Pence said:
“To think that at a time when we have allies at war in Eastern Europe and here in Israel, that the leader of America’s military at the Pentagon would be out of commission for a number of days, and the President of the United States didn’t know about it.”
Pence added: “I think it was a dereliction of duty and the secretary and the administration, frankly, need to step forward and give the American people the facts.”
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MI), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, accused the Pentagon of secrecy and actions that contribute to the growing distrust of the Biden administration. Wicker posted on X:
“When one of our country’s two National Command authorities is unable to perform their duties, military families, members of Congress, and the American people deserve to know the full extent of the circumstances.”
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told Axios that Austin “has been a disaster since Day One and should be replaced by someone who will focus on making the military ready to fight and win wars instead of advancing woke political causes of the Biden [administration.]”
A Pentagon official acknowledged to CNN there were “strict orders to not contact him and let [Austin] rest” while he was in the hospital and that Austin missed his daily contact with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, last week.
The unnamed Pentagon official added: “There are all of these people around the secretary at all times, who manage him and help him on a day-to-day basis, and no one had the wherewithal to even tell the White House? I’m surprised no one is using the word ‘cover-up’ yet.’”
Official Pentagon spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Ryder reported: “Since resuming his duties on Friday evening, the secretary has received operational updates and has provided necessary guidance to his team.”
Ryder added: “He has full access to required secure communications capabilities and continues to monitor DoD’s day-to-day operations worldwide. The secretary spoke to President Biden yesterday. He has been in contact with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr. and his senior staff.”
Ryder also emphasized that Austin “has no plans to resign” and said the Pentagon is “considering the impact of any statutory reporting requirements and will provide updates as appropriate.”
On Monday, in response to calls for Austin’s resignation, a White House official stated: “The President has full trust and confidence in Secretary Austin. He’s looking forward to him being back at the Pentagon.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.