Shanahan Steps Down as Acting Defense Secretary After Reports of FBI Investigation

18 Juin, 2019, 21:38 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Secretary of the Army Mark Esper speaks during a House Armed Services Committee budget hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Trump on June 18 named Esper as acting Defense Secretary

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn from consideration to take over the post on a permanent basis, President Trump tweeted Tuesday, after reports surfaced of a domestic abuse incident nearly a decade ago.

Minutes after Mr Trump's announcement, the Washington Post published an interview with Mr Shanahan in which he discussed a 2011 incident when his son, then 17, reportedly beat his mother with a baseball bat fracturing her skull.

Earlier on Tuesday, USA Today reported the FBI was investigating a 2010 incident in which Mr Shanahan and his ex-wife accused each other of assault.

The former Boeing executive did not have prior experience in national security matters before he was picked by then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to be his deputy. USA Today said Jordinson stands by her story. "I don't believe violence is appropriate ever, and certainly never any justification for attacking someone with a baseball bat".

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While Esper will replace Shanahan as acting defense secretary, Trump did not specify whether he will also become the new nominee to take on the role full-time.

In a statement announcing his resignation, Mr Shanahan called it "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".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday that "we all know" Esper and that "he's a good choice for acting".

Army officials said they had no immediate comment on the announcement.

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