Shanahan steps down as acting Defense chief, withdraws from Cabinet consideration

Image: Patrick Shanahan, Jo?o Titternigton Gomes Cravinho
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, center, speaks about the situation in the Persian Gulf region during a meeting with Portuguese Minister of National Defense Joao Cravinho, at the Pentagon on June 14, 2019. Copyright Manuel Balce Ceneta AP
By Adam Edelman with NBC News Politics
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Shanahan, Trump said, "has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family."

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Patrick Shanahan, the acting secretary of defense who President Donald Trump said would be tapped to take over the job permanently, is stepping down and withdrawing from consideration, Trump said Tuesday.

"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.

Secretary of the Army Mark Esper will take Shanahan's place as acting defense secretary, Trump said.

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