President Biden has asked two Trump-appointed members of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition — Mehmet Oz and Herschel Walker — to resign from their posts or be terminated.
Herschel Walker and Mehmet Oz, who are now Republican Senate candidates in Georgia and Pennsylvania, respectively, were appointed in 2018 by then-President Donald Trump to serve on the council. Trump reappointed them to two-year terms in December 2020, shortly before he left office.
It’s against the Biden administration’s policy for federal candidates to serve on presidential boards, according to a White House official. The official said letters to Oz and Walker were sent Wednesday requesting their resignations by 6 p.m.
(The Hatch Act: a law that prevents federal employees from engaging in some political activities while they are working in an official capacity.)
Oz, who’s seeking the GOP nod, blasted the move in a statement. “President Trump appointed me to two terms on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. The White House just emailed me demanding my resignation by the end of the day,” he wrote. “Clearly, Joe Biden can’t be around anyone who doesn’t completely fall in line with his fear-mongering authoritarian one-size-fits-all COVID handling. I am proud of my service and will not resign.”
Herschel Walker has yet to comment.
Members of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition are considered special government employees, who, per the Hatch Act, “may not be candidates in partisan elections” while conducting official government business.
Earlier Wednesday, the White House announced the appointment of chef and humanitarian José Andrés and WNBA star Elena Delle Donne as co-chairs of the committee.
Last fall, the Biden White House asked a number of Trump appointees, including former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, senior counselor Kellyanne Conway and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, to resign from their positions on military service academy advisory boards.