Manchin rejects calls to fire Austin: ‘If a mistake was made, we can fix that’

Manchin rejects calls to fire Austin: ‘If a mistake was made, we can fix that’

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) rejected the calls to fire Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin over his failure to communicate to the White House that he was hospitalized earlier this month.

Manchin said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that while there was “definitely a breakdown” in communication, Austin should not be fired over his mistake in not informing the White House of his hospitalization. He added that lawmakers are slated to be briefed on what exactly happened this coming week and wished Austin a speedy recovery.

“Here’s a man who’s dedicated his entire life to defense of our country. If a mistake was made, we can fix that,” Manchin said. “Was there a breakdown and basically we were left rudderless? I don’t believe so but we’ll find out.”

“Decisions can be made later, but you don’t change right now. You don’t throw a person out that has dedicated his entire life and done a good job of giving everything he has to it. He said he’s made a mistake he shouldn’t have done it.”

Austin faced criticism after he failed to disclose his hospitalization to the White House for days earlier this month, where he is being treated for prostate cancer. Some people, including a House Democrat, have called on Biden to fire Austin but the White House said the president is not considering doing so.

Manchin emphasized he wants to know all of the facts before passing judgement on the secretary.

“His health and well being is what I’m most concerned about, and his dedication to our country. I think we owe something to make sure we have the facts before we put politics,” he said.

“This toxic atmosphere is what people don’t like anymore,” he added. “So just have some civility to how we handle ourselves and our concerns we have for people.”

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