President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan decided not to go forward with the confirmation process to cement him in his position with the administration. Shanahan has now given an interview detailing why he removed himself from the process.
USA Today had previously reported that an FBI background check into Shanahan led to an investigation into a domestic violence incident from nine years ago between Shanahan and his ex-wife, Kimberley Jordinson.
Shanahan and Jordinson both claimed at the time that the other had assaulted them during an altercation, but Shanahan was taken into custody due to blood being on Jordinson’s nose.
Both stood by their accounts of the night when USA Today asked about the evening. In a crazier ripple, the former couple’s son, Will, said he was “coerced” by his mother into giving a statement in support of her account of the night.
“I did what she told me,” he said.
Shanahan is now shedding light on his decision to withdraw from the confirmation process through an interview with The Washington Post where a second domestic violence situation came to light.
Shanahan recalled in 2011 defending his son after Will got into a physical altercation with his mother.
According to The Post, the incident left Jordinson with a fractured skull and internal injuries. Will Shanahan reportedly hit her with a baseball bat.
Shanahan said after the incident that his son had acted in self defense. His son was 17 years old at the time of the incident.
Source: Fox News
“Use of a baseball bat in self-defense will likely be viewed as an imbalance of force. However, Will’s mother harassed him for nearly three hours before the incident.”,” Shanahan wrote in a memo to his ex-wife’s brother.
In his interview with The Washington Post, Shanahan said he regrets the memo since it reads like a defense of an assault. He said the assault on Jordinson was not “justified.”
“Quite frankly it’s difficult to relive that moment and the passage was difficult for me to read. I was wrong to write those three sentences,” Shanahan said. “I have never believed Will’s attack on his mother was an act of self-defense or justified. I don’t believe violence is appropriate ever, and certainly never any justification for attacking someone with a baseball bat.”
Shanahan said a confirmation hearing would only bring up bad memories again and he predicted that such a process would “ruin” his son’s life.
“Bad things can happen to good families…and this is a tragedy, really,” Shanahan said.
President Trump said Shanahan had done a “wonderful job” in his position.
“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,” the president tweeted.
He went on to say that Mark Esper, the Secretary of the Army, will take on Shanahan’s 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!” he said.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, the president admitted that this is a “it’s a difficult time for Pat.” He added that Shanahan would be taking some time off for “family matters.”
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