President Trump to Nominate Patrick M. Shanahan as Defense Secretary: White House

By Venus Upadhayaya

President Donald Trump intends to nominate acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan as the new Secretary of Defense, according to a White House press release.

“Based upon his outstanding service to the Country and his demonstrated ability to lead, President Trump intends to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan to be the Secretary of Defense,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Shanahan has previously served as deputy secretary of defense and vice president of supply chain and operations at Boeing.

“Acting Secretary Shanahan has proven over the last several months that he is beyond qualified to lead the Department of Defense, and he will continue to do an excellent job,” said Sanders in the statement.

Shortly after the announcement, Shanahan issued a statement saying he was “honored” to be chosen as the Pentagon’s permanent head.

“If confirmed by the Senate, I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy,” Shanahan said.

In another Tweet, he said: “I remain committed to modernizing the force so our remarkable Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have everything they need to keep our military lethal and our country safe.”

Speaking to reporters after his nomination, Shanahan expressed much enthusiasm. “I called my mom…I’m very excited,” he said.

Shanahan took over the job in an acting capacity following the December resignation of Gen. Jim Mattis, who left the administration over a series of policy differences with Trump, particularly over the President’s initial decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

Pentagon chief
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan gestures while speaking to members of the media aboard a military plane prior to his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. on Feb. 23, 2019. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool via Reuters)

While Mattis had intended to stay on until the end of February, in part to allow time for his successor to be named and confirmed, Trump, reportedly angry over the coverage of Mattis’s resignation, decided to cut the transition period short, thrusting Shanahan into the role on Jan. 1.

Shanahan cleared a major hurdle blocking him from becoming Trump’s nominee last month when the Department of Defense’s Inspector General cleared him of allegations that he violated ethics agreements by promoting the interests of his former employer, Boeing.

CNN Wire Service Content contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times