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Democrats Defend Lloyd Austin for Keeping Hospitalization Secret

via CNN
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At a congressional hearing, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was questioned about failing to inform President Biden that he was hospitalized for three days amid ongoing military operations.

Republicans called this an “embarrassment,” but Democrats defended Austin. Representative Adam Smith said there was nothing embarrassing and the focus should be on more important issues.

“There was nothing embarrassing about what happened here. There was nothing that makes us appear weak,” Ranking Member Adam Smith said.

John Garamendi argued it was wrong to criticize Austin instead of passing Ukraine aid.

Salud Carbajal was satisfied with Austin taking accountability.

“We’re spending our time here taking you to task. That’s wrong. We’re failing. Let me put it this way — the leadership in this House is failing. We have a supplemental appropriation absolutely necessary for the defense of Ukraine. That has been languishing for months,” Rep. John Garamendi said.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin thanked Austin for admitting mistakes and said the committee should move on from “outrage and drama” over his health to actual national security matters.

Austin acknowledged a break in communication to the president but denied one in the military chain of command.
“I would just say, ‘Look, you made a mistake. You admitted it. You’re taking steps to address it.’ And you want to know what accountability is accountability is having to come and sit in front of people and their outrage and their drama in public about your health issues and the mistakes you’ve admitted you made,” Slotkin said.

“This committee has always been a a real calm in the storm when it comes to bipartisanship. So I would ask that when we come back together in a month and have a hearing with the Secretary, we focus it on the things that are actually important to national security. Instead of denying this man the apology that he’s made, the mea culpa that he’s made and get on to the business of the American people.”

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