“Today, the Department of Defense announced that it intends to appoint former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, Ambassador Thomas Carter, Dr. Edward Luttwak, Mr. Scott O’Grady, Mr. Thomas Stewart, the Honorable Randy Forbes, Senator Robert Smith and Ambassador Charles Glazer to the Defense Policy Board,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
Gingrich, a former Republican speaker of the House, has been an ardent supporter of Trump and has made baseless claims about the recent presidential election.
O’Grady who was nominated by Trump to be assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs at the Pentagon, has spread debunked conspiracies on Twitter that called Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden a “coup” attempt and shared tweets that suggest Trump should declare martial law.
O’Grady, a former fighter pilot and Trump loyalist, repeatedly retweeted tweets that falsely stated Trump had won the election in “landslide fashion” and that millions of votes had been stolen from the President.
The purge of the policy board and subsequent installation of Trump loyalists is just the latest post-election move at the Pentagon, which began with Trump announcing the termination of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper via tweet.
Since making the personnel changes, the administration has announced troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia and has jettisoned much of the Pentagon’s civilian leadership, replacing officials with a slew of political loyalists in a wave of disruption as Trump’s administration winds to a close.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon said it would name Hudson Institute China policy expert Michael Pillsbury to serve as the chair of the Defense Policy Board and former National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty as a member.
Pillsbury has been a vocal proponent of Trump and vocal critic of Biden.
Gordon-Hagerty was ousted from her position at the National Nuclear Security Administration immediately after the election, one of the first high-profile post-election changes in the Trump administration.
Late last month, the administration purged the policy advisory board, removing grandees such as Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger.
Other changes in the administration has made in its final days include a purge of the Defense Business Board and subsequent installation of Trump loyalists such as Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie.
Traditionally, the Pentagon advisory boards are nonpartisan and their membership carries over into successive presidential administrations.