Defense

Lewandowski, Bossie added to Pentagon advisory board after latest purge

Top Trump allies Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie are among nine new members of a Pentagon advisory board installed after the administration fired the previous members.

The purge at the Defense Business Board, which provides Pentagon leaders with outside advice on business management issues, was first reported Friday by Politico.

It is the latest shake-up at the Department of Defense (DOD) following President Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden in November’s election.

“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 Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, whose installation kicked off the Pentagon shake-up, said in a statement Friday. “These individuals have a proven record of achievement within their respective fields and have demonstrated leadership that will serve our Department, and our nation well.”

Lewandowski served as the president’s campaign manager for part of his 2016 White House bid and joined the 2020 campaign as a senior adviser.

Bossie was a deputy campaign manager in 2016 and in November was tapped to lead Trump’s legal efforts challenging the results of the 2020 election. He is also the president and chairman of conservative advocacy group Citizens United. He and Lewandowski have co-written books together.

The Biden administration can replace them when he takes office, but their appointment marks Trump’s latest effort to inject politics into the Pentagon in the waning days of his presidency.

The other new members of the board are Henry Dreifus, Robert McMahon, Cory Mills, Bill Bruner, Christopher Shank, Joseph Schmidt, Keary Miller, Alan Weh and Earl Matthews. 

They are replacing Chairman Michael Bayer, Vice Chair Atul Vashisitha, Arnold Punaro, John O’Connor, David Venlet, Paul Dolan, Scott Dorn, David Walker and David Van Slyke.

“I want to thank each of these members for volunteering their time and talents in service to the Department of Defense and in turn, our country,” Miller said in his statement.

A Pentagon news release on the changes said the fired members “had been serving in expired positions,” but Politico reported that at least three told it their terms were not close to expiring.

The Defense Business Board purge comes about a week after a similar shake-up was reported at the Defense Policy Board, another key DOD advisory group. The director of the Defeat ISIS Task Force was also ousted this week.

The Pentagon purge started shortly after the election with Trump’s firing of Mark Esper as Defense secretary. The next day saw the departure of three other top officials who were replaced with Trump loyalists.

Tags Advisory board Corey Lewandowski David Bossie defense business board Donald Trump Joe Biden Mark Esper United States Department of Defense

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