Inside the Ring: Trump Administration Gets Third Defense Chief

Posted on June 20, 2019 12:49 pm

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Army Secretary Mark T. Esper takes over on Sunday as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense — the third defense chief for the administration and its first Republican.

Mr. Esper got the nod for the position after the surprise announcement Tuesday by acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan that he is withdrawing from the nomination for the post after several news organizations pursued stories related to domestic violence incidents involving the Shanahan family from 2011. The incidents reportedly were the subject of an FBI background investigation.

Mr. Shanahan, who was confirmed as deputy defense secretary in July 2017, took over as acting defense chief on Jan. 1