Shanahan to leave Pentagon, Mark Esper to take over: Trump

Washington [USA]: The United States’ Acting Secretary of Defence, Patrick Shanahan, will step down from his post to “devote more time to his family,” as per US President Donald Trump.

Trump further said that he would be naming Mark Esper as Shanahan’s successor to the top Pentagon post.

“Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick 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,” the US President tweeted on Tuesday.

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“I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defence. I know Mark and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!” he further said.

This comes shortly after the Washington Post published a report revealing that Shanahan’s son had attacked his own mother with a baseball bat in 2011, according to CNN.

The report alleges that Shanahan had allegedly penned a memo for his son’s initial court appearance, in which he argued that the 17-year-old had acted in self-defence.

“Quite frankly it’s difficult to relive that moment and the passage was difficult for me to read. I was wrong to write those three sentences,” he told the Post in an interview on Monday.

“I have never believed Will’s attack on his mother was an act of self-defence or justified. I don’t believe violence is appropriate ever, and certainly never any justification for attacking someone with a baseball bat,” he added.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Shanahan said that he was withdrawing from confirmation due to a “deeply personal family situation from long ago.”

“After having been confirmed for Deputy Secretary less than two years ago, 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,” he said in the statement.

“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. Ultimately, their safety and well-being is my highest priority,” he lastly added.


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