US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has demanded hundreds of Pentagon advisory board members step down this month, effectively clearing out several dozen people appointed in the final weeks of the Trump administration.
Over the past two months, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller has fired a number of defense, health, science and business councilors who served for many years and replaced many of them with loyal supporters of former President Donald Trump.
More than 30 of these new appointees will be forced to step down, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, retired Brigadier General Anthony Tatu and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
“I order the immediate end of all advisory committee activities pending the completion of the review, unless I or the Deputy Secretary of Defense instruct otherwise,” Austin said in a memorandum released on Tuesday.
He ordered all members of the committees appointed by the Minister of Defense to resign no later than February 16.