President Joe Biden on Friday fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, a Trump appointee.
Saul was fired after refusing a request to resign. Saul told The Washington Post Friday that the move to oust him by the Biden administration was not expected. His deputy, David Black, also resigned Friday.
"This was the first I or my deputy knew this was coming," Saul told the Post of the email he received from the White House Personnel Office Friday morning. "It was a bolt of lightning no one expected. And right now it’s left the agency in complete turmoil."
Trump appointed Saul to a term of six years as commissioner. His term would've ended in 2025. He called his ousting a "Friday Night Massacre."
While Saul said his firing was a surprise, he did have a tumultuous relationship with Biden, often clashing over unions. Friday, he challenged the legality of Biden firing him, saying he was "term-protected," and adding that he planned to be back at work Monday morning.
The White House releasing a statement Friday, saying "since taking office, Commissioner Saul has undermined and politicized Social Security disability benefits" and that he had "taken other actions that run contrary to the mission of the agency and the President’s policy agenda."