Shanahan Out of Running to Be Defense Secretary After Account of Domestic Incident Surfaces

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Patrick Shanahan, President Donald Trump’s acting secretary of Defense, withdrew his name from consideration to officially run the Pentagon, Trump announced on Tuesday.

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The announcement came after it was reported that the FBI had been investigating a 2010 domestic incident between Shanahan and his then-wife, in which both claimed the other punched them. The incident reportedly did not surface while vetting Shanahan to be be the second-in-command at Defense two years ago.

Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who served less than four months in his current role, denied the allegation that he struck his former spouse. In a statement to USA Today, he said he “never laid a hand on my then-wife and cooperated fully in a thorough law enforcement investigation that resulted in her being charged with assault against me.” Shanahan noted as well that the charges were subsequently dropped “in the interest of my family.”

Shanahan’s replacement, current Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, formerly served as chief of staff at the Heritage Foundation and went on to become a vice president at Raytheon.

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Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.