President Donald Trump said he will nominate acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to be his permanent pick to replace James Mattis at the Pentagon.
“Based upon his outstanding service to the Country and his demonstrated ability, President Trump intends to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan to be the Secretary of Defense,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted on Thursday.
“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,” Sanders wrote.
Shanahan, 56, has had a decades-long career at Boeing. He had no prior experience either in the military or in foreign policy before he became the deputy Defense secretary in 2017.
“I am honored by today’s announcement of President Trump’s intent to nominate,” he said in a prepared statement. “If confirmed by the Senate, I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy. 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.”
The announcement followed a month-long Pentagon ethics investigation that found that Shanahan had not acted improperly in official meetings when discussing military contractors.