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Republican Rep. Calls for Defense Secretary to be Fired

Representative Seth Moulton criticized Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for his secretive hospital visits related to cancer. He suggested that President Biden should consider firing Austin over this issue.

Unacceptable Secrecy in the Administration

Moulton, a House Armed Services Committee member, described Austin’s failure to notify key officials as “completely unacceptable.” He compared this to his military experience, where such a lapse would be unimaginable.

Moulton’s Hypothetical Presidential Action

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If Moulton were President, he stated he would quickly dismiss Secretary Austin. This statement reflects his concern over the military chain of command breakdown.

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Need for a Decisive Presidential Message

Moulton emphasized the need for President Biden to send a decisive message ensuring such an incident never happens again. He views this as a necessary step to maintain proper communication protocols.

Democratic and Republican Responses

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While Democrats have been cautious in their response, several Republicans have accused Austin of dereliction duty. They have called for his resignation due to his failure to properly inform the White House and Pentagon.

Bipartisan Calls for Austin’s Resignation

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Representative Chris Deluzio, a Democrat in a competitive swing district, joined the calls for Austin’s resignation. This adds further pressure to the scrutiny Austin faces.

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Austin’s Health Issues and Lack of Disclosure

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Secretary Austin’s prostate cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery in December were not disclosed to President Biden at the time. This lack of communication has become a central point of contention.

Hospitalization and Delegation of Duties

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Austin was hospitalized on January 1 and had to delegate his Pentagon duties, which was not immediately communicated to Biden and Hicks. They were informed only days later, on January 4.

Austin’s Acknowledgement and Biden’s Confidence

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Austin acknowledged the need for better transparency, while President Biden expressed confidence in him despite noting a lapse in judgment. This situation reflects the complexities of health-related privacy in public offices.

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Moulton’s Personal Concern for Austin

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Moulton expressed his concern for Secretary Austin and his family’s well-being. However, he stressed the importance of national security and adequate troop supervision.

Importance of National Security and Leadership

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Moulton highlighted that America’s national security and the supervision of troops are paramount. He views these as critical responsibilities of the Defense Secretary.

The Balance of Personal Health and Public Duty

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The situation with Secretary Austin raises questions about balancing personal health issues with the responsibilities of public duty. It underscores the need for transparency and effective communication in government leadership roles.

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Credit: Office Of The Secretary Of Defense Public Affairs/Reuters

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