March 3, 2024

Here’s What We Know About Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s Disappearance

US President Joe Biden (C), with US Vice President Kamala Harris (L) shakes hands with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, after speaking during the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Milley, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, on September 29, 2023. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks was on leave in Puerto Rico at the time

No one including the president, Secy of State or Joint Chiefs of Staff knew he was missing raising questions of who was in charge

Here’s What We Know About Lloyd Austin’s Disappearance

The DOD second-in-command did not learn that she had taken over her boss’s responsibilities because he had been hospitalized until nearly three days later.

  • Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks did not learn that her boss had been hospitalized until nearly three days later, after she had performed some duties on his behalf, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit on Jan. 1, but his hospitalization was kept secret. 
  • “This was an evolving situation involving a number of factors,” Ryder said.

The Department of Defense’s (DOD) second-in-command did not learn that she had taken over her boss’s responsibilities because he had been hospitalized until nearly three days later, the Pentagon said.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin remains in the hospital after an emergency stay in the Intensive Care Unit, but resumed his full duties as of Friday — providing guidance to the Pentagon and monitoring DOD operations worldwide — and has communicated with his principal deputies, the Pentagon said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, who was on leave in Puerto Rico at the time, made “routine decisions” on the Austin’s behalf during the week.

“Secretary Austin did not have to affirmatively delegate his duties because by statute, the Deputy Secretary is automatically authorized to perform the duties of the Secretary if he is unable to perform them. Medical professionals have been consulted throughout,” Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told the DCNF. 

Austin was on leave and underwent an elective medical procedure on Dec. 22, returning home on Dec. 23, Ryder said. He began experiencing “severe pain” on Jan. 1 and was rushed in an ambulance back to the medical center where he was admitted to the ICU.

“He was placed in the hospital’s intensive care unit to ensure immediate access to due to his medical needs, but then remained in that location in part due to hospital space considerations and privacy,” Ryder said.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., who is not in the chain of command, was notified on Jan. 2 that Austin had been hospitalized and the secretary’s authorities transferred to the deputy secretary of defense, Ryder said. The Pentagon did not explain who determined to notify Brown or whether Hicks was fully aware she exercised the secretary’s authorities at that point.

Kelly Magsamen, Austin’s chief of staff, could have notified appropriate parties of the delegation of authorities, but Magsumen was apparently sick and did not inform Hicks or key White House leaders until Jan. 4.

“Due to illness, the Secretary’s Chief of Staff was unable to make notifications before then. She made those notifications on Thursday to the Deputy Secretary and National Security Advisor,” Ryder said.

It is not unusual for the defense secretary to transfer certain duties to his deputy without providing a specific reason, Ryder told CNN.

Hicks only then began planning a return to Washington, D.C., but nixed those plans after learning Austin would resume his post from the hospital on Friday, according to CNN.

The secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as other top DOD officials, were notified the afternoon of Jan. 5, Ryder said, seemingly just before the Pentagon released a brief public statement regarding Austin’s hospitalization.

The Pentagon did not provide a discharge date for Austin.

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the top Republican Senate Armed Services Committee, accused Austin of unlawfully withholding information in a statement.

Wicker accused Austin of violating a federal statute that requires immediate notification to Congress when a vacancy occurs in the executive office and who will be serving as the acting official in said vacancy.

“This was an evolving situation involving a number of factors,” Ryder said. “We are considering the impact of any statutory reporting requirements and will provide updates as appropriate.”

More at:


Trump says Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin should be ‘fired immediately’ for dereliction of duty after mysterious ICU stint that was kept hidden from the White House

Lloyd Austin should be ‘fired immediately’ for dereliction of duty

Former President Donald Trump has called for the removal of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, accusing him of a ‘dereliction of duty’ for being ‘missing for a week’.

Former President Donald Trump has demanded Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin be ‘fired immediately’ after going ‘missing for a week’ when he was secretly in the ICU as the White House was kept in the dark about his condition. 

In a scathing post to Truth Social on Sunday night, Trump did not hide his anger as what he claimed was a ‘dereliction of duty’ having occurred after Austin failed to inform his superiors as to his whereabouts – with even his deputy seemingly kept in the dark.  

‘Failed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin should be fired immediately for improper professional conduct and dereliction of duty. He has been missing for one week, and nobody, including his boss, Crooked Joe Biden, had a clue as to where he was, or might be,’ Trump began.

‘He has performed poorly, and should have been dismissed long ago, along with ‘General’ Mark Milley, for many reasons, but in particular the catastrophic surrender in Afghanistan, perhaps the most embarrassing moment in the history of our Country!’ Trump went on. 

Trump has joined the growing calls for Biden to fire Austin, who was admitted to intensive care at Walter Reed Medical Center on January 1. But it wasn’t until days later that many in the Pentagon and the White House learned of his condition. 

On Sunday, the Pentagon released new details about defense secretary Lloyd Austin’s secretive stay in hospital.

It explained how Austin – who ranks just behind the Commander-in-Chief in military command – underwent a medical procedure on December 22 and went home a day later. He was admitted to intensive care on January 1 when he began experiencing severe pain.

The latest information came as members of both parties in Congress expressed concerns about the secrecy of Austin’s hospital stay and the fact that the president and other senior leaders were kept in the dark about it for days.

More at:


‘Austin’s Going Nowhere’ — Biden Not Considering Sacking Defense Secretary Who Failed to Disclose Hospitalization

Biden Not Considering Firing Defense Secretary over Hospital Issue

Although Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin failed to inform leaders about his hospitalization, President Joe Biden is not considering firing him.

Although Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin failed to inform the White House about his recent hospitalization, President Joe Biden (D) is not considering firing him, Politico reported Monday.

The outlet cited a group of senior administration officials. If Austin were to issue a resignation Biden would refuse it, a person among them said.

“Austin’s going nowhere,” one official told Politico. The report noted Republicans have been calling for Biden to dismiss the defense secretary.

During a recent interview, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) told Fox News, “Apparently the National Security Council didn’t know it, the White House didn’t know it, congress didn’t know it.”

“We’re at a time of a lot of turmoil internationally and suddenly to have the secretary of defense more than just a matter of wasn’t there actually sent over false information saying, ‘I’m working from home,’ when he’s not actually available at all,” Lankford added:

‘NO ONE KNEW’: Biden, WH, Reps unaware about Lloyd Austin’s hospitalization

‘The Big Weekend Show’ panelists discuss growing outrage over Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s medical cover-up. #foxnews Subscribe to Fox News! https://bit.ly/2vBUvAS Watch more Fox News Video: http://video.foxnews.com Watch Fox News Channel Live: http://www.foxnewsgo.com/ FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking news as well as political and business news.

Biden on Vacation Same Time Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Hospitalized

President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were both out of office on New Year’s Day, raising serious questions.

More at:


Share the News