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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