Republicans Push Back Against Trump’s New Demand

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Many GOP Senators have avoided calling for the removal of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin from office, despite the recent push by former President Donald Trump. However, all have criticized Austin for not informing the White House about his hospitalization for days.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s (Ky.) leadership team has slammed Austin stating that his secret absence from office was a “dereliction of duty,” still despite these accusations they have been unwilling to call for his resignation. Many have also been pushing for a Senate hearing which would help determine what had occurred. In previous statements, they have accused the Pentagon of having violated a statutory requirement by failing to notify the White House of Austin’s hospitalization and absence from office.

Some Senators have also blasted the White House for not having noticed the absence of the Defense Secretary immediately, and have argued that President Biden had been “irresponsible” in his handling of this situation.

Despite being unwilling to call for Austin’s resignation themselves, the Senators have been backing up Trump in his criticisms and pointing out the national security lapse caused by this incident. For some Senators this incident has also helped mend some of the issues they have had with Trump in the past, especially as the former President is now leading the Republican primary presidential race.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.), who has often clashed with Trump over the 2020 presidential election, has referred to the incident relating to Austin as a “terrible dereliction of duty.”

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