In a bizarre move, Donald Trump has demanded that the commanding officer of the Washington, D.C. National Guard resign from his post in the middle of the Inauguration ceremony, even though the general will be in the middle of helping oversee the event’s security, the Washington Post reported on Friday.
Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz will be removed from his post at 12:01 p.m. on Inauguration Day, just after Trump is sworn in but before the Inaugural parade begins, according to a memo obtained by the Washington Post.
Schwartz has helped plan the security for Inauguration weekend, and he will be charged with overseeing the D.C. National Guard as well as an additional 5,000 troops sent in for the weekend. But he will have to hand over commend to an interim officer in the middle of Inauguration Day.
“The timing is extremely unusual,” Schwartz told the Washington Post on Friday.
“My troops will be on the street,” he added. “I’ll see them off but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.”
Schwartz told the Post that he was not informed why he must step down abruptly on Inauguration Day.
“I’m a soldier,” he said. “I’m a presidential appointee, therefore the president has the power to remove me.”
Trump’s team has also ordered all politically appointed diplomats to leave their posts by Inauguration Day, breaking with tradition of allowing some ambassadors to stay on as their children finish out the school year.