Trump: Shanahan out at Pentagon, Esper now acting secretary

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Patrick Shanahan

FILE – In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks about the situation in the Persian Gulf region during a meeting with Portuguese Minister of National Defense Joao Cravinho, at the Pentagon. President Donald Trump announced on June 18 that Shanahan will not move forward with the confirmation process to be Defense Secretary. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan is withdrawing his nomination.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that Shanahan had done “a wonderful job” but would step aside to “devote more time to his family.”

The president added that the Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, will be the new acting secretary.

The post atop the Pentagon has not been filled permanently since Gen. James Mattis retired in January.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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