President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is withdrawing from consideration for the permanent position in order to “devote more time to his family.”

Trump added that Army Secretary Mark Esper, a former Raytheon executive, would replace Shanahan on an interim basis.


During his six-month stint as head of the Department of Defense, Shanahan drew criticism for rebuffing Boeing’s main competitor Lockheed Martin due to its mishandling of an aircraft that is several years behind schedule and millions of dollars above its budget.

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According to The New York Times, Shanahan, who replaced Jim Mattiswas said to have often succumbed to the wishes of other Trump Administration officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. 

Meanwhile, USA Today reported that Shanahan issued a statement in response to an alleged 2010 domestic dispute with his ex-wife. Shanahan has not been charged with any crime and has denied being violent with his former spouse.

Shanahan replaced Mattis after the former Mariner Corps general resigned in December, citing strong disagreements with Trump on foreign policy issues. It is believed the White House’s chosen course of action regarding Syria is one of the reasons Mattis decided to step down from his post after nearly two years.