Top Trump loyalists installed in the Pentagon as his ex-military supporters call for martial law
President Donald J. Trump salutes U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael L. Howard. (DoD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann)

President Donald Trump on Friday escalated his efforts to install loyalists in key positions before President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.


"The White House removed nine members of the Pentagon's Defense Business Board on Friday and installed people loyal to President Donald Trump in their place, including presidential allies Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie," Politico reported Friday. "The firings marked the latest effort by the Trump administration to clean out the Defense Department in the final weeks of the president's term."

Lewandowski served as one of Trump's 2016 campaign managers; Bossie was the deputy campaign manager on Trump's 2016 bid.

The replacements came after Trump abruptly fired the previous members of the board.

Politico interviewed Michael Bayer, who was the board chair until being fired on Friday.

"A number of board members have been terminated with a form letter. In my experience, I was very surprised that the White House would, at the eleventh hour, adjust an advisory board that for 19 years has had a record of nonpartisan support with the department," Bayer told Politico. "This kind of a move really will weigh heavily on people on the future and their willingness to serve on these outside advisory boards if they're going to be subjected to political loyalty tests. It's unprecedented. I'm just saddened."

Also on Friday, Trump's nominee to be the next Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs was caught pushing for martial law following Trump's election loss. Recently pardoned former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn has also called for a new election overseen by the military.