Shanahan steps down as acting defense secretary, Esper to take over
WASHINGTON — Pat Shanahan confirmed Tuesday that he has resigned as acting defense secretary and ended his campaign to seek the job outright amid reports of domestic violence in his family involving himself, his ex-wife and their son.
Army Secretary Mark Esper was selected by President Donald Trump to be the new acting defense secretary, made public in a series of tweets that also announced Shanahan will step down.
“I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!,” Trump tweeted.
Shanahan said in a prepared statement following Trump’s tweets that “after significant reflection” he was withdrawing from consideration for defense secretary and resigning from his post.
“I believe my continuing in the confirmation process would force my three children to relive a traumatic chapter in our family's life and reopen wounds we have worked years to heal,” he said. “Ultimately, their safety and well-being is my highest priority.”
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