Trump: Shanahan out at Pentagon, Esper now acting secretary

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U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan

ARLINGTON, VA – MAY 27: U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan delivers remarks during a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on May 27, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)

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.

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