Secretary of Defense James Mattis and White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon have been fighting over filling top Pentagon jobs — including the key post of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Foreign Policy reported.
According to FP, the Pentagon is short of high-level staffers because of an ongoing disagreement — and Mattis "is not happy" about getting thwarted in putting his own staff in place.
According to FP, Mattis is pushing for Mary Beth Long, a Pentagon veteran under the Bush administration, to be his undersecretary for policy, while the White House is backing Trump Pentagon transition staffer Mira Ricardel.
The big hit on Long is her signature on a "Never Trump" letter in March 2016 in which GOP foreign policy veterans rebuked Donald Trump's world view, FP reported.
Long, in a later interview with NPR, said she'd changed her mind, however, and "if I were asked to sign a letter like that again, I would be much more careful about the verbiage that related to the candidate himself."
Trump's transition team hasn't reached out to any of the national security veterans who decided to sign either of two "Never Trump" letters that were circulated during the campaign, The Washington Post has reported.
"It's not just that we're frozen out. … I was told they said there was an enemies list," one signer told the Post.
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