President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced that he would not nominate acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to hold the position in a permanent capacity. Army Secretary Mark Esper will become acting defense secretary, Trump said.
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2019
Shanahan was announced as the acting Secretary of Defense following the resignation of James Mattis who cited differences in opinions with the president.
The announcement came amid reports that an FBI background check was delaying the nomination process. Earlier on Tuesday, Shanahan released a statement related to a 2010 violent domestic incident involving him and his ex-wife.
“I 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—charges which I had dropped in the interest of my family,” Shanahan said in a statement provided to USA Today.
Esper had widely been discussed as a possible replacement nominee should Trump decide to rescind his announcement that Shanahan would be the nominee.