Pentagon stopped political appointments for Trump allies to join defense advisory boards

  • The Pentagon has halted former President Donald Trump’s appointments to defense advisory boards, according to Politico.
  • There is currently an ongoing review of the last-minute appointments.
  • Affected nominees include Trump loyalists Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Pentagon has halted the installation of several of former President Donald Trump’s nominees to defense advisory boards in a review of the last-minute appointments, according to Politico.

Among the nominees affected are Corey Lewandowski, who managed Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and David Bossie, a deputy campaign manager for Trump in 2016.

For now, the move blocks Trump loyalists from serving on the boards, which are tasked with offering advice to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Austin, who was confirmed by the Senate as defense secretary on January 22, is contemplating his options for the nominees, according to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby.

“The Secretary, as you would expect, is reviewing current policies in place across the department to determine if any changes are necessary, to include the advisory boards,” Kirby said in a statement. “No final decisions have been made with respect to board membership. But we will make the information available should that change.”

After the November presidential election, the outgoing Trump administration purged foreign policy experts from the Defense Policy Board, including former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright.

Lewandowski and Bossie were both tapped to serve on the Defense Business Board.

Read more: Trump tested the Constitution and shredded traditions. Biden and the Democrats have big plans of their own about what to do next.

The pause will also impact former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller’s picks for the commission that was set up to plan the renaming of US military bases that are currently adorned with pro-slavery Confederate officials, according to The Washington Post.

In early January, Miller appointed four officials to the board before leaving his position — Joshua Whitehouse, the White House liaison to the Defense Department under Trump; Earl Matthews, a former principal deputy general counsel for the Army; Sean McLean, a White House official under Trump; and Ann Johnston, then an assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs.

Appointees who had already finished their onboarding paperwork are reportedly not a part of the freeze, including Anthony Tata, the former acting Pentagon policy chief who previously made inflammatory comments about former President Barack Obama in a series of tweets.

Trump appointed Tata to the Defense Policy Board, and he was sworn in on January 19, a day before President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

However, since advisory board appointees serve at the pleasure of the defense secretary, Austin can still remove any member at his discretion.

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