On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Source,” House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) acknowledged that President Joe Biden “needs to evaluate his relationship” with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin based mostly on Austin’s reply on why Austin didn’t inform the President he was hospitalized and Biden must have a dialog about probably firing Austin and there isn’t a believable reply to why Austin didn’t inform the White House.
Smith mentioned, “I think Secretary Austin has done a great job as Secretary of Defense, when you look at the coalition that he has put together to defend Ukraine, the response to the Israel crisis. We’re in a very, very difficult set of circumstances for our national security, he’s done a great job. But there’s really no excuse that I can think of for not having informed the President, number one, that you had cancer, but certainly, number two, that he was having this surgery and that he was hospitalized. And that’s the one question that we have to have answered, what did Secretary Austin think? Why did he think that it was okay not to tell the President? Secretary Austin’s number two in command of the military. The President’s number one. It’s really important that he keep him informed. He didn’t in this case. And I can’t imagine a plausible explanation that justifies that decision.”
Smith added, “We know what happened. I don’t know that there’s much of an inquiry or much digging that needs to be done. We just need Secretary Austin to answer the question, why did he think that it was appropriate for him not to tell the President that all of this was going on? I think we do need to hear an answer from that and I think the President needs to evaluate his relationship with the Secretary of Defense based on what happened and based on that answer.”
Host Kaitlan Collins then requested, “Does that mean that you think that he should potentially consider firing him?”
Smith responded, “They’ve got to have that conversation. I don’t know, like I said, at the moment, I can’t think of a plausible explanation.”
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