Two top Trump loyalists were installed at a Pentagon advisory board shortly after several board members were fired on Friday.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, as well as David Bossie — Lewandowski’s deputy on Trump’s 2016 campaign and chairman of the group Citizens United — have been named to the Pentagon’s Defense Business Board, the Defense Department announced in a press release Friday.
The New York Times reported last month that Trump had picked Bossie to lead his campaign’s effort to contest the 2020 election results.
“I’m proud to welcome each of these new members to the Defense Business Board and I look forward to their contributions to help guide the Department’s business efforts in the coming years,” Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller said in a statement.
The newly announced board members, he said, “have a proven record of achievement within their respective fields and have demonstrated leadership that will serve our Department, and our nation well.”
Earlier Friday, Politico reported that several members of the board, including the chair and vice chair, had been dismissed via a brief email from the White House’s liaison to the Pentagon. The Pentagon press release said Miller had “thanked 9 outgoing members for their service”
The advisory board is made up of more than two dozen volunteers who provide business advice to the Pentagon.
“A number of board members have been terminated with a form letter,” Michael Bayer, the ousted chair of the board, told Politico. “In my experience, I was very surprised that the White House would, at the eleventh hour, adjust an advisory board that for 19 years has had a record of nonpartisan support with the department.”
“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. It’s unprecedented. I’m just saddened,” Bayer added.