Patrick Shanahan Withdraws Nomination as Defense Secretary and Steps Down

Shanahan withdraws from Pentagon chief consideration process – Trump

Shanahan withdraws from Pentagon chief consideration process – Trump

Shanahan, in a statement, said "it is unfortunate that 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".

In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, Trump said 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".

President Trump has named Army Secretary Mark Esper as his replacement. His resignation marks the second abrupt departure in less than six months at the Pentagon, a highly unusual degree of turnover.

Mr. Trump had yet to formally nominate Shanahan, and a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee tentatively scheduled for Tuesday morning had been postponed, according to Yahoo News, which reported Monday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had not submitted documents related to his background check.

Earlier on Tuesday, it was claimed that the FBI was investigating a 2010 incident which saw both Mr Shanahan and his ex-wife Kimberly accuse one another of assault. While Shanahan said he "never laid a hand" on then-wife Kimberly Jordinson, according to the paper, she said she stands by her account. A subsequent piece (including interviews with Shanahan) at The Washington Post reported past abuse by his then-wife involving his children, including an incident where she beat her son and tried to set his clothes on fire, and a separate incident in 2011 where his son cracked her skull with a baseball bat.

Trump said he only learned of the Shanahan family troubles the day before. He added the disclosure of the incident would "ruin my son's life".

Shanahan's ex-wife and son could not be reached for comment.

In addition to the aforementioned Defense, DHS, and White House Chief of Staff jobs, the Trump administration also has acting heads at the SBA, FEMA, ICE, USCIS, FAA, and as the Ambassador to the United Nations.

The new upheaval in what is one of the biggest posts in the U.S. government comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East, where the United States has accused Iran of attacking oil tankers in the strategic Gulf of Oman.

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The announcement comes amid renewed tensions between the USA and Iran after Washington accused the Islamic republic of attacks last week on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Washington blames long-time foe Iran for the incidents but Tehran denies responsibility.

"He said it's going to be a rough time for him because of obviously what happened".

"I'm not thrilled that the next acting defence secretary is a former Raytheon executive", said Ms Mandy Smithberger, director of the Centre for Defence Information at the Project On Government Oversight, a non-governmental watchdog group. "It's appalling, and it shows the chaos in this administration", he told reporters.

James Inhofe, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stressed the need for a permanent secretary of defence to be confirmed by Congress.

Shanahan was the longest official in history to serve as secretary of defence in only an acting capacity, according to Pentagon records.

Shanahan did not have prior experience in national security matters before he was picked by Mattis to be his deputy.

Mr. Shanahan said in a statement that continuing with the process would be devastating to his children and would force them to relive traumatic personal experiences dating back almost a decade.

Bookbinder said Shanahan's past work at Boeing overshadowed his decisions at the Defense Department.

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