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Trump sending ally to Pentagon to vet officials' loyalty: report

President TrumpDonald TrumpSt. Louis lawyer who pointed gun at Black Lives Matter protesters considering Senate run Chauvin found guilty as nation exhales US says Iran negotiations are 'positive' MORE is sending a White House ally to the Pentagon to vet officials’ loyalty to him, Foreign Policy reported Wednesday.

Michael Cutrone, who has served as Vice President Pence’s top national security aide for South Asia, is expected to serve in a behind-the-scenes role in the Pentagon to measure how loyal other officials are to Trump, two current administration officials told the Foreign Policy. 

The timeline of Cutrone’s arrival is unclear at this time. 

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Officials are concerned Cutrone will undermine Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperInspector general chose not to investigate Secret Service in clearing of Lafayette Square: report The paradox of US-India relations Overnight Defense: Trump-era land mine policy unchanged amid review | Biden spending outline coming Friday | First lady sets priorities for relaunched military families initiative MORE’s authority as Trump attempts to remove disloyal officials from the rankings, according to the report. Some said they worried the few officials left to push back on ideas will be removed from their positions or undercut. 

“He is pushing to replace and remove civilians in OSD [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] that are not aligned with the White House,” one current senior administration official said. “Esper has no say in who the key people are going into senior positions.”

Trump has frequently replaced Cabinet members and other officials who have disagreed with him. Former Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisBiden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet Rejoining the Iran nuclear deal would save lives of US troops, diplomats The soft but unmatched power of US foreign exchange programs MORE resigned under pressure after repeated battles with Trump over a number of issues. Trump is on his second secretary of State and third national security adviser. 

The Pentagon told Foreign Policy it had “no personnel announcement with regard to that person or that position, and we don’t have any information about any other speculation.”

The Pentagon told The Hill that it deferred to the White House on nominations. The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.