Trump appoints former aide Kellyanne Conway to Air Force Academy Board of Visitors

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President Donald Trump announced Tuesday the appointment of his longtime aide Kellyanne Conway to the U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors.

It’s the second appointment to the board that the president has made in the past week as his term winds down.

On Thursday, the president announced he had appointed Heidi Stirrup, an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, to be a member of the board, according to a White House press release.

Conway, top adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, served as a highly trusted 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 worked for years as a Republican pollster and operative and originally supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican primary. She moved over to the Trump campaign and that August became campaign manager as Stephen Bannon became campaign chairman.

She had remained a trusted voice within the West Wing and spearheaded several initiatives, including on combating opioid abuse.

She was also known for her robust defense of the president in her sometimes controversial media appearances, once extolling the virtues of “alternative facts” to support her case. Conway was also an informal adviser to the president’s reelection effort but resisted officially moving over to the campaign.

She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, George, a fellow Republican who has frequently been a harsh critic of the president and his administration.

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The president chooses six members of the 15 member Air Force Academy board, at least two of whom must be graduates of the academy, according to the board’s charter. The chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees also serve on the board.

According to its charter, the board provides independent advice and recommendations on the morale, discipline and social climate, the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs and academic methods to the secretary of defense and deputy secretary of defense, through the secretary of the Air Force, and to the Armed Services committees.

Strirrup, who for the past several months has served as the president’s liaison to the Justice Department, was recently banned from the department’s headquarters building after trying to pressure staffers to give up sensitive information about alleged election fraud and other matters so that she could relay the information to the White House, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

She was told within the last two or three weeks to vacate the building after top Justice officials learned of her efforts to collect insider information about ongoing cases and the department’s work on alleged election fraud, said AP’s sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

Stirrup, who previously was a central figure in the Trump administration’s push for hardline immigration policies, technically still remains in her position after being placed at the Justice Department by the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

She previously served as the acting director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement and was also a deputy White House liaison at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Associated Press reporters Michael Balsamo, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

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