President Donald Trump on Dec. 8 announced more than two dozen intended appointments to what the president referred to as "key administration posts."
Perhaps the most prominent name on the list is White House aide Kellyanne Conway, who has been nominated to the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Conway, the top adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, served as a close aide to the president from the beginning of his administration until she stepped down in August, citing a need to spend more time with her family.
She most recently served as an adviser to Trump's 2020 presidential campaign.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Lynn Friess, the wife of Republican mega-donor Foster Friess, would be appointed as members of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, according to the president.
Other appointments are predominantly seats on panels including the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Military Academy, the National Cancer Advisory Board, Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board, the Community Development Advisory Board, the Arctic Research Commission, and others.
In a staffing shakeup at the Pentagon on Dec. 4, nine Defense Business Board members were dismissed and replaced with 11 new appointments, including former Trump 2016 campaign officials Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie joining the panel. Board members provide the secretary of defense and other senior leaders with advice from a private sector perspective to assist them with managerial decisions.
Some media have framed the staffing moves as part of a long-standing practice called "burrowing," in which an outgoing administration transitions political appointees into more secure civil service positions, giving them protection from dismissal by an incoming administration and allowing them to continue to serve and, potentially, influence policy.
Trump hasn't conceded the race for the White House, however, and continues to mount legal objections to what he claims was a "rigged election." The Epoch Times won’t declare a winner of the 2020 presidential election until all legal challenges are resolved.