(DCWatchdog.com) – A shocking scandal at the Pentagon caused by its failure to inform anyone that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had been hospitalized has blown wide open, leading the likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, to call for Austin’s immediate axing.
The former president publicly demanded the dismissal of the defense secretary after Austin was incapacitated for several days due to a medical condition but failed to inform key government officials.
Trump expressed his views on Truth Social on Sunday evening, advocating for Austin’s immediate termination due to this lack of communication.
Austin had been admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for complications arising from 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 stated, as cited by The Daily Wire.
“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.
Austin’s hospitalization began on January 1, but it wasn’t until January 4 that the White House, the National Security Council, or Congress were notified.
During his hospital stay, which included time in intensive care and ongoing recovery, Austin delegated some of his duties to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks.
However, Hicks, who was vacationing in Puerto Rico at the time, was reportedly also uninformed about Austin’s health status.
Austin addressed the concerns regarding transparency surrounding his hospital stay in a statement on Saturday.
He acknowledged the need for better communication but did not elaborate on his failure to inform the White House, lawmakers, or other top national security officials directly. Austin also did not detail the nature of the elective procedure or the ensuing complications.
“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 affirmed.
“But this is important to say: this was my medical procedure, and I take full responsibility for my decisions about disclosure,” he added.