Shanahan out at Pentagon, Esper now acting secretary

Acting defense secretary bows out of running to be confirmed as Pentagon chief

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Tuesday he had withdrawn from consideration to head the US military as reports of domestic violence in his family surfaced, stoking uncertainty about the leadership of the Pentagon as tensions with Iran rise.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, seated between national security adviser John Bolton and President Trump, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 22, 2019.

The Senate Armed Services Committee initially had his confirmation hearing planned for Tuesday, June 18.

Trump said that he believes Esper will do a good job "I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!" he wrote.

In a statement Tuesday, Shanahan said he was withdrawing because "a painful and deeply personal family situation from long ago is being dredged up and painted in an incomplete and therefore misleading way in the course of this process".

The announcement followsa report from USA Today that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking into a violent domestic dispute between Shanahan and his former wife during which both claimed they'd been punched by the other.

"In response to a request from the US Central Command for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East", Shanahan said in a statement.

He said he did not want his three children "to relive a traumatic chapter in our family's life and reopen wounds we have worked years to heal".

More news: CWS 2019: Florida State Shuts Out Arkansas

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

But as a result of that situation, Shanahan said, he asked to be withdrawn from the nomination process and he resigned from his previous post as deputy defence secretary.

Last week, NBC News reported that Trump was having second thoughts about formally nominating Shanahan and that he had been asking confidants while in Normandy about potential alternatives.

"However well-qualified Secretary Esper may be, it is critical that the President nominate, and that the Senate confirm, a permanent Secretary of Defense as quickly as possible".

Mr. Shanahan, a former top executive at Boeing, was tapped by Mr. Trump for the job more than a month ago, but Senate leaders were still waiting Tuesday to receive the formal nomination paperwork.

Esper has been Secretary of the Army since November 20, 2017.

This is a developing story, stay tuned for updates.

Related News:



Most liked

Central Va. woman hospitalized in Dominican Republic on honeymoon
A Lake Worth couple Janny and Marlon Godinez now say they're having trouble canceling their vacation to the country. Dawn McCoy's husband David Harrison and son David Jr. traveled to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on July 4, 2018.

Aston Martin Valkyrie to race at Le Mans in 2021
It will make a hybrid-powered production version of the GR Super Sports concept revealed at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2018. It will replace the current LMP1 category, which has become a farce since the sole manufacturer is Toyota .

Taco Bell offering free tacos Tuesday, June 18
The Golden State Warriors lost the NBA Finals , which made anyone who rooted against the dynasty Dubs pretty happy. Customers are restricted to one free taco, which will be available as supplies last.

Friends cast reunite for Courteney Cox’s 55th birthday
It has been revealed that Harry made a decision to text the actress after he got her number a few years back. Courteney Cox is celebrating her birthday with a little help from her Friends .

New safety fears for Boeing with Dreamliner
The airline group said it was confident that the Boeing planes would return to service in the coming months. Other Boeing executives also stressed the company's focus on safety and condolences to victims' families.

Capitals trade Niskanen to Flyers for Gudas
Washington will take on $2.345 million of Gudas' $3.35 million for 2019-20, after which he will be a free agent. The Flyers will retain 30% of Gudas' remaining contract while taking on all of Niskanen's.

The 6 Biggest Jaw-Droppers at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards
It certainly was the case Monday night when the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards aired from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica , Calif. Actress Elisabeth Moss , the lead of " The Handmaid's Tale ", was given an award for the best performance in a TV show.

LaMelo Ball announces he will play in Australia next season
Hampton decided last month to forego his college eligibility and sign with the New Zealand Breakers in the nine-team NBL . The announcement comes one day after Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that a deal with the NBL was in the works.

Archie's Christening Will Be Missing This Important Royal Family Member
Only a few pictures have been released of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor since he was born weighing 7lb 3oz on 6 May. The proud parents marked Mother's Day with a touching photo of their son posted on their official Instagram account .

Frank Lampard to be offered Chelsea job this week
A compensation package understood to be in excess of £5million was agreed with the Serie A champions. If Chelsea want to hire him, then they have to make an offer in pursuit of that.

Argentina Start Copa America With Loss To Colombia
Argentina next face Paraguay, who begin their campaign against invitees Qatar on Sunday (20:00 BST). 'We have to look at the mistakes we made, and find the positives.

North Korea quake : Panic at 'large explosion' on border with China
But talks between Washington and Beijing have also stalled, and a trade war persists between the world's two largest economies. Russian President Vladimir Putin toasts with Chinese President Xi Jinping prior in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on Friday, June 14.

Pompeo says 'lots of evidence' proves Iran attacked oil tankers
Rhodes insisted that the Trump administration must prove that Iran is behind the tanker attacks on an global scale. The United States also blamed Iran for attacks on four tankers roughly a month prior to the Gulf of Oman attacks.

Marvel's Avengers Character Designs Unlikely To Change Before Launch
Developed by Crystal Dynamics in collaboration with Eidos-Montréal, Nixxes Software, and Crystal Northwest. The game is being developed by Crystal Dynamics in collaboration with Eidos Montreal.

Mariners trade Edwin Encarnacion, cash to Yankees for pitching prospect
Daniel Vogelbach is a designated hitter who can play the position, but Seattle is a far better team if he's not in the field. As part of the trade, the Mariners will reportedly also send $8.4 million of what is owed to Encarnacion to NY .