Shanahan Withdraws From Consideration for Defense Secretary

June 18, 2019 by Dan McCue
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks during a Missile Defense Review announcement at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 17, 2019. Shanahan has withderawn from consideration to take over the job permanently. (Martin H. Simon/Abaca Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON – Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan withdrew his nomination to lead the Pentagon Tuesday, his abrupt about face being announced via President Trump’s Twitter account.

“Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family,” Trump said in a Twitter post shortly before 1 p.m.

The president added that the Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, will be the new acting secretary.

“I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!” Trump said in a second tweet.

The post atop the Pentagon has not been filled permanently since General James Mattis retired in January following a series of policy differences with Trump.

Trump announced in May that he would nominate Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, but the formal nomination process in the Senate had been delayed for unknown reasons.

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