Trump ousts nonpartisan Pentagon advisory board, installs Corey Lewandowski and other loyalists

Kathryn Krawczyk

President Trump's Pentagon purge isn't over yet.

Since losing the 2020 election, Trump has systematically ousted top Defense Department officials and replaced them with people more favorable to him. That removal operation even extended to the typically nonpartisan Pentagon Defense Business Board on Friday, where the White House fired nine members and installed Trump allies in their place.

On Friday, nine members of the board received a "form letter" telling them their "membership on the Defense Business Board has expired or is coming to an end, its now-ousted chair Michael Bayer tells Politico. Bayer said he was "surprised" the White House would make this kind of "11th-hour move" regarding an advisory board with a "record of nonpartisan support." "This kind of a move really will weigh heavily on people on the future and their willingness to serve on these outside advisory boards if they're going to be subjected to political loyalty tests," Bayer added.

In the members' place, the White House installed a collection of loyalists, including Trump's 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Also installed was David Bossie who, along with Lewandowski, was among Trump allies who've been challenging the 2020 election results.

Trump also recently nominated Scott O'Grady, another loyalist, to a top Pentagon spot. O'Grady, along with freshly pardoned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, shared a wild petition on Twitter that compels Trump to "declare limited martial law to temporarily suspend the Constitution" and hold a new presidential election.

After the election, Trump removed former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the top official overseeing the Defeat ISIS Task Force, and members of the Defense Policy Board, including former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright.

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