Shanahan Drops Out Of Running For Defense Secretary

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has removed himself from consideration to permanently lead the Defense Department.

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that Shanahan “has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family.”

Shanahan’s decision to drop out of the running for the top job at DOD follows a report in USA Today that he was accused of domestic violence by his then-wife in 2010, which he denies, and an interview with The Washington Post that details another domestic violence incident involving his son.

“Bad things can happen to good families … and this is a tragedy, really,” Shanahan told the Post.

Trump said he was naming Secretary of the Army Mark Esper to be the new acting defense secretary. Esper is a West Point graduate and a former executive at defense contractor Raytheon.

Trump announced he had selected Shanahan to succeed Jim Mattis in May but had not yet submitted a formal nomination to the Senate. Shanahan joined the Trump administration as deputy defense secretary in 2017.

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