Trump's new point man tasked with stacking Defense Department with White House loyalists: report
President Donald Trump on Sunday threatened yet more "major retaliation" if Tehran hits back, including on Iranian cultural sites. (AFP/File / JIM WATSON)

In a move aimed at "consolidating control over policy and messaging," according to Foreign Policy Magazine, President Trump is sending a White House loyalist to take on a new key policy role at the Defense Department -- a move many see as an attempt to weed out people in the department who aren't loyal to Trump.


"This latest personnel move has drawn concern from veteran Pentagon officials, who fear that the few remaining appointees in place empowered to push back on underdeveloped policy ideas will be removed from their posts or undermined, marking much tighter White House control than it had under former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was close to many of the agency’s political appointees," Foreign Policy reports.

Michael Cutrone, who was Vice President Mike Pence's top national security aide for South Asia, has been tasked with vetting Defense Department officials for loyalty to Trump, according to two current administration officials speaking to Foreign Policy.

“He is pushing to replace and remove civilians in OSD that are not aligned with the White House,” one current senior administration official told Foreign Policy. “[Defense Secretary Mark Esper] has no say in who the key people are going into senior positions.”

Read the full report over at Foreign Policy.