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Gingrich, other Trump loyalists named to Pentagon advisory panel

The Pentagon on Monday named eight new members to its Defense Policy Board, including former House Speaker Newt GingrichNewton (Newt) Leroy GingrichMORE, weeks after a purge of the independent advisory group.

The intended appointments to the board, which advises Pentagon leaders on policy issues, come after last month’s sudden removal of nearly a dozen longstanding experts on the panel, including former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright and former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorBiden faces tall order in uniting polarized nation Can the GOP break its addiction to show biz? Leaving on a high note: Outgoing NRCC head looks to build on 2020 MORE (R).

The administration made similar replacements on the Defense Business Board in early December.

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Among the most controversial names added to the board are Gingrich, a loyalist to President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE, as well as Scott O’Grady, Trump’s nominee for assistant secretary of Defense for international security affairs. Originally known for his career as a fighter pilot, O’Grady has recently sparred with critics on Twitter where he has also retweeted debunked conspiracies that called Trump’s election loss to Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE a “coup” attempt, according to CNN.

The other appointees are former U.S. ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization Thomas Carter, Edward Luttwak, Thomas Stewart, former Rep. Randy ForbesJames (Randy) Randy ForbesOvernight Defense: US sanctions NATO ally Turkey over Russian defense system | Veterans groups, top Democrats call for Wilkie's resignation | Gingrich, other Trump loyalists named to Pentagon board Gingrich, other Trump loyalists named to Pentagon advisory panel Bottom line MORE (R-Va.), former Sen. Robert Smith (R-N.H.), and former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Charles Glazer.

The Pentagon last week also announced the intended appointments of Michael Pillsbury, a China expert at the Hudson Institute, to serve as the board’s chair, and former National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty as a member.

“These incoming members bring extensive defense and national security affairs experience to this advisory committee from their time in Congress, the State Department, our armed forces and beyond,” acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said in a statement. “I’m confident the Department of Defense will benefit greatly from their time and service to the board.”

The appointments mark Trump's latest effort to attempt to install loyalists at the Pentagon only weeks before the end of his presidency.

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In early December, Trump moved to place top allies Corey LewandowskiCorey LewandowskiSunday shows preview: Riots roil Washington as calls for Trump's removal grow Trump's refusal to concede sows confusion among staff Trump selects Hicks, Bondi, Grenell and other allies for positions MORE and David Bossie among nine new members of the Defense Business Board, which provides Pentagon leaders with outside advice on business management issues.

That follows the November ousting of Pentagon chief Mark EsperMark EsperTrump administration official Norquist sworn in as acting Pentagon chief Watch Out: Progressives are eyeing the last slice of the budget Biden needs to fill the leadership gaps on Day One MORE shortly after Trump lost the election to Biden. In the days that followed, three other top officials departed and were replaced with Trump loyalists.

The Biden administration can still replace Trump’s picks come Jan. 20, so it is not clear if the newly named individuals will become members of the Defense Policy Board.