Trump names Esper as Acting Defense Secretary
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn from consideration to hold the post in a permanent capacity, U.S. President Donald Trump announced.
The president said Shanahan had opted to “devote more time to his family.” Shanahan confirmed the news in a statement. Trump said he would name Army Secretary Mark Esper as the new acting defense secretary, HuffPost reported.
"Acting Secretary of Defense 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," Trump wrote on Twitter.
"I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense. I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!" he added.
Shanahan has served as the department’s acting chief since December, when former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned in protest over Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.