Ex-Boeing exec Patrick Shanahan out of the running for defense secretary
The acting secretary of defense has withdrawn from consideration to take over the post on a permanent basis, Trump tweeted Tuesday, after reports surfaced of a domestic abuse incident almost a decade ago.
(Bloomberg)—Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn from consideration to take over the post on a permanent basis, President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday, after reports surfaced of a domestic abuse incident almost a decade ago.
Trump said he will name Secretary of the Army Mark Esper as the new acting defense secretary, a day after Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, announced the Defense Department would send an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran.
“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 on Twitter.
Shanahan’s exit comes amid reports of alleged domestic abuse with his former wife. In a statement issued to USA Today, Shanahan said: “Though my marriage ended in sorrow and disappointment, I never laid a hand on my then-wife and cooperated fully in a thorough law enforcement investigation that resulted in her being charged with assault against me—charges which I had dropped in the interest of my family.”
Both Shanahan and his ex-wife, Kimberly Jordinson acknowledged in court filings and police reports that a late-night argument on August 28, 2010, after both had been drinking, spilled from their bedroom to the front yard of their Seattle home, according to USA Today.
The White House announced in May that Trump planned to nominate Shanahan as defense secretary to succeed Jim Mattis, who quit in December. The move was supposed to help bring greater stability to Trump’s national security team, which lacks Senate-confirmed leaders at the Pentagon and United Nations.
Shanahan, 56, has been acting defense secretary since Mattis stepped down over Trump’s abrupt announcement that he was withdrawing all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria. He’s since proven his loyalty, backing the president’s efforts to tap Pentagon funding for a border wall over bipartisan congressional opposition and working to scale back, though not eliminate, American forces in Syria.
Unlike Mattis, a laconic former Marine Corps general, Shanahan has been an unabashed Trump supporter, backing the president’s efforts to use Pentagon money for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border over bipartisan congressional opposition and endeavoring to scale back, though not eliminate, the U.S. military presence in Syria.