Trump picks former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan as secretary of defense

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President Donald Trump plans to nominate Patrick Shanahan, who has led the Pentagon since the start of the year, as the new secretary of defense, the White House announced on Thursday.

The White House praised Shanahan’s “outstanding service to the country and his demonstrated ability to lead” in a statement Thursday afternoon. “Shanahan has proven over the last several months that he is beyond qualified to lead the Department of Defense.”

Read more: Meet Patrick Shanahan, the former Boeing executive nicknamed ‘Mr. Fix-It’ who’s replacing General James Mattis as defense secretary

“I am honored by today’s announcement of President Trump’s intent to nominate. If confirmed by the Senate, I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy,” Shanahan said in a separate statement. “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.”

Shanahan, previously the deputy secretary of defense, took over as acting secretary on January 1 after Jim Mattis resigned from his office after a disagreement with the president over Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria and delivered a stinging rebuke of the president’s foreign policy.

Read more: Mattis’ letter is a sharp rebuke to Trump’s ‘America First’ philosophy

In his resignation letter, Mattis suggested that Trump find a defense secretary with views more closely aligned with his own on issues such as the security of international order, the treatment of allies, and the handling of American adversaries.

“Let’s not worry about whether he’s a ‘yes man’ or a ‘no man’ but whether he’s a ‘can-do’ man,” Shanahan said earlier this year, adding, “I just spend all my time getting stuff done,” reported Bloomberg, which first reported the news that Trump planned to pick Shanahan.

A Pentagon watchdog recently cleared Shanahan, who spent most of his career at Boeing, of bias against the Boeing competitor Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

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