President Trump announced Tuesday in a tweet that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will no longer seek the nomination to become permanent defense secretary.
“Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family,” Trump tweeted.
He added that he was naming Army Secretary Mark Esper to the acting position.
“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”:
The announcement came one day after Breitbart News’ Political Editor Matt Boyle reported that serious questions surrounded a high-value Pentagon contract worth $10 billion that appeared slated to go to Amazon “could complicate” Shanahan’s chances of becoming defense secretary.
Boyle reported Monday:
The contract, called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, is a lucrative deal that would bolster the company run by the world’s wealthiest man, Jeff Bezos. The sweetheart deal has come under significant scrutiny in recent weeks, as new documents and information has shed light on potential serious corruption that House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) has said is being investigated now by the Pentagon’s Inspector General. Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, has earned President Trump’s disdain. The president has looked for ways to rein in the billionaire whose costly divorce reportedly still has not even made him drop below Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the world’s richest man.
“It’s appalling that this process has been gamed from the start to benefit Amazon,” a former Trump White House official told Breitbart News. “This is nothing more than a blatant attempt to help enrich Jeff Bezos and continue propping up the Washington Post, whose daily mission is to end the Trump presidency.”
On Tuesday, a source close to the White House told Breitbart News:
Shanahan didn’t have the votes for confirmation due to the controversy over the potential DOD JEDI contract with Amazon. Multiple Republican Senators made clear to the White House that they could not move forward with his confirmation because of it. It’s become a red line issue among some conservatives for whoever the next Defense Secretary may be.
Shanahan took over after former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned in December.
Trump had announced he would nominate Shanahan for the position weeks ago, but the nomination had stalled. NBC News reported recently that the president was starting to have doubts. The report also mentioned the JEDI contract.