Army Secretary Mark Esper, left, and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, tweeted that he will name Esper to serve as the acting Defense chief, after Shanahan told the president he was withdrawing his name from the confirmation process. STARS AND STRIPES
Army Secretary Mark Esper, left, and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, tweeted that he will name Esper to serve as the acting Defense chief, after Shanahan told the president he was withdrawing his name from the confirmation process. STARS AND STRIPES

Shanahan steps down as acting defense secretary, Esper to take over

by Caitlin M. Kenney and Corey Dickstein
Stars and Stripes

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.”

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.586548

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