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Trump Announces Acting Defense Secretary Is Out

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan is removing himself from consideration for the post of defense secretary and also stepping aside from his current job, President Donald Trump announced Tuesday.

Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, had been in the news recently over an alleged 2010 domestic violence incident.

“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 tweeted.

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“I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense. I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!”

Shanahan has been filling the post since January, after James Mattis resigned.

Prior to that, he had been the Pentagon’s second in command.

Esper has been Army secretary since 2017, having previously served as vice president for government relations at Raytheon.

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Although Trump indicated that Shanahan’s formal nomination to the post of defense secretary had taken place, his confirmation hearings had not yet been scheduled.

Should a 9-year-old alleged domestic dispute bar Patrick Shanahan from confirmation as defense secretary?

As part of its pre-confirmation investigation, the FBI was investigating a 2010 domestic dispute between Shanahan and his then-wife Kimberley in which each claimed to have been punched by the other, USA Today reported.

Shanahan has said he “never laid a hand on” his ex-wife, who insists her account of being punched was accurate.

On Tuesday, Shanahan issued a statement about the incident.

“After having been confirmed for deputy secretary less than two years ago, it is unfortunate that such a painful and deeply personal family situation from long ago is being dredged up and painted in an incomplete and therefore misleading way as a result of this nomination process,” the statement 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.”

“Our story is not dissimilar to those of the many families facing the difficult challenges that come when a loved one struggles with substance abuse and other emotional issues as is the case with my former-wife. I wish nothing but the best for her and regret that my children’s privacy has been violated and they are being forced to relive a tragic situation that we have worked so hard as a family to put behind us,” the statement said.

The Washington Post also reported Tuesday about a second incident dating from 2011 in which Shanahan defended the conduct of his then-17-year-old son, William, who allegedly severely injured Shanahan’s ex-wife.

“Use of a baseball bat in self-defense will likely be viewed as an imbalance of force,” Shanahan wrote in a memo to his ex-wife’s family.

“However, Will’s mother harassed him for nearly three hours before the incident.”

The Post said that when interviewed about the incident, Shanahan said he has since changed his mind.

“Quite frankly it’s difficult to relive that moment and the passage was difficult for me to read. I was wrong to write those three sentences,” Shanahan told The Post.

“I have never believed Will’s attack on his mother was an act of self-defense or justified. I don’t believe violence is appropriate ever, and certainly never any justification for attacking someone with a baseball bat,” he said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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