WASHINGTON DC — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has “decided not to go forward with his confirmation process.”
“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.
“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!” he added.
President Trump nominated acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to be his permanent pick to replace James Mattis at the Pentagon.
“Based upon his outstanding service to the Country and his demonstrated ability to lead, President Trump intends to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan to be the Secretary of Defense,” Sanders said in a statement.
Shortly after the announcement, Shanahan issued a statement saying he was “honored” to be chosen as the Pentagon’s permanent head.
“If confirmed by the Senate, I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy,” Shanahan said. “I remain committed to modernizing the force so our remarkable Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have everything they need to keep our military lethal and our country safe.”
Shanahan took over the job in an acting role following the December resignation of Mattis who left the administration over a series of policy differences with Trump, particularly over the President’s initial decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.