President Trump may not think he lost the election, but he’s acting like a man on his way out, doling out plum spots on premier boards and commissions to his friends and supporters.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump appointed Elaine Chao, the secretary of transportation and the wife of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, to be a member of the board of trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Trustees serve six-year terms.
Kellyanne Conway, his onetime campaign manager and White House counselor, will help oversee the Air Force Academy as a member of the institution’s board of visitors. Ms. Conway will serve a three-year term.
And Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union and the husband of Mercedes Schlapp, who served as the president’s director of communications, will sit on the trust fund board for the Library of Congress. He will be one of two presidential appointees, with a five-year term.
Will Ruger, a conservative scholar whom Mr. Trump nominated to be ambassador to Afghanistan, will be a member of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, joining Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary. Board members serve three-year terms.
Together, they are among the more than two dozen appointments that the president made on Tuesday, filling the coveted spots with supporters who will serve fixed terms even after Mr. Trump leaves office next month.
Also on Tuesday, a federal judge dismissed the criminal case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, just two weeks after Mr. Trump pardoned him, but portrayed the Justice Department’s previous arguments for dismissing the matter as “dubious to say the least.”
Making such appointments is a president’s prerogative. In 2019, Mr. Trump appointed Lee Greenwood, who sings “God Bless the U.S.A.,” the signature song of the president’s re-election campaign, to the Kennedy Center board.
Associates of previous presidents still sit on boards and commissions. Former President Barack Obama appointed Valerie Jarrett, a close friend and adviser, to the Kennedy Center board, a position she still holds. So does Alyssa Mastromonaco, who was one of Mr. Obama’s deputy chiefs of staff.