Trump Calls for Immediate Termination of Secretary Lloyd Austin Following Covert Hospitalization

Former President Donald Trump is expressing outrage over the revelation that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was hospitalized in critical condition last week without informing Congress, the Pentagon, or the White House.

Trump contends that Austin’s failure to disclose this information jeopardized national security and is now calling for his immediate termination. Using his Truth Social platform, Trump criticized the communication lapse, emphasizing the severity of the situation as even Austin’s deputy, Kathleen Hicks, was unaware of his intensive care admission.

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 admitted to Walter Reed Medical Hospital on Jan. 1 for a planned procedure but faced unforeseen medical complications, details of which remain undisclosed.

Despite informing the chairman of the Joint Chiefs a day after entering the Intensive Care Unit, it’s highlighted that the chairman is not within the chain of command. Concerned leaders expressed their unease, having been informed of Austin’s medical situation only on Friday. Austin’s chief of staff, Kelly Magsamen, attributed the delay in notifying Congress to her own illness, as reported by Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder.

The New York Post confirmed that President Biden was not informed during the three days Austin spent in the hospital, raising questions about the extent to which Austin’s responsibilities were delegated to Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks or if he participated in significant decisions while hospitalized.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, echoing Trump’s criticism, voiced concerns about the breach of protocol during a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“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.”

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MI), the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, alleged that the Pentagon’s secretive behavior adds to the increasing lack of trust in the Biden administration. Wicker shared his concerns 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.”

Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), a House Armed Services Committee member, expressed to Axios that Austin “has been a disaster since Day One” and advocates for his replacement with someone prioritizing military readiness for warfare over advancing the woke political agenda of the Biden administration.

A Pentagon official confirmed to CNN the existence of “strict orders” to refrain from contacting Austin during his hospitalization, emphasizing the importance of letting him rest. This resulted in Austin missing his regular communication with 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.”

In reaction to demands for Austin’s resignation on Monday, a White House official affirmed, “The President maintains complete trust and confidence in Secretary Austin. He eagerly anticipates his return to the Pentagon.”