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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

On Friday, the White House fired nine members of the Pentagon's Defense Business Board and installed people loyal to President Donald Trump, Politico reports. At the same time, Trump's Pentagon officials have refused members of President-elect Joe Biden's transition team to meet with officials at U.S. intelligence agencies.

The aforementioned board members were all fired via form letter email that told them that their terms had expired — even though that wasn't true for three of the members — and they were neither given any warning nor thanks for their service.


"The Defense Business Board is made up of more than a dozen industry and academic leaders who volunteer to provide independent business advice to Pentagon leadership and are appointed by top Pentagon leaders," the publication writes, adding that the board has generally been understood as non-partisan.

Among its duties, the board reviews defense agencies and field activities, and studies data on how private companies interact with the Department of Defense.

In their place, Trump installed his former campaign officials Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. Trump could have simply installed his new members, as the board can accommodate up to 35 people and only had 16 before the firings began.

The firings come one week after the White House fired a dozen members of the Defense Policy Board, a similar advisory council of experts outside the government, and his Defense Secretary Mark Esper. As of November 20, more than 40 percent of the Department of Defense's top positions have been left unstaffed thanks to Trump's firings.

Meanwhile, because Biden's team hasn't been able to meet with defense officials for almost a month after he won the election, it has "impaired the Biden team's ability to get up to speed on espionage operations against Russia, China, Iran and other U.S. adversaries," The New York Times reports.

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WFormer President Trump, right, and former Attorney General William Barr

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Stunning new abuse-of-power revelations remind us of the Trump administration's complete disregard for democratic principles. We now know that over a span of years it took extraordinary legal measures, including gag orders and secret tribunals, in pursuit of email records from reporters at CNN and the Washington Post. Team Trump also unleashed the courts on Democratic members of Congress and their families trying to obtain private phone records, as well as secretly targeting a key White House attorney, who possibly fell under suspicion for not being sufficiently loyal to Trump.

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