Donald Trump announced today on Twitter that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is removing himself from the confirmation process to spend more time with his family just as reports surface that a domestic violence police report was holding up the FBI background check.
Trump thanked Shanahan for his past work and shared another name, Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, to be the new acting secretary of Defense.
“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…”
USA Today says that a 2010 domestic incident that ended with a police report was dogging Shanahan as there are conflicting accounts of what happened between the acting Defense secretary and his then-wife, Kimberley Jordinson. Each person claimed that the other punched them, and both had blood on them, says the police report.
Shanahan says he “never laid a hand on” his former wife, but Jordinson says she stands by her account.
A police report from the Seattle Police Department indicates that in August 2010, both Shanahan and Jordinson had been drinking, and an argument spilled out from their bedroom to the front yard of their Seattle home.
In the report, police says that Shanahan had a bloody nose and Jordinson a bloodstained forearm. Jordinson claimed that night and later in divorce papers that Shanahan had punched her in the stomach. Prosecutors later dropped all charges due to a lack of evidence.
When it was announced that he would be removing himself from consideration for the position of Defense secretary, Shanahan released a statement indicating that he doesn’t want to put his family through a dissection of that incident as it has been painful and they’ve tried to put it behind them, suggesting that Jordinson struggles with mental health concerns.
“When a loved one struggles with substance abuse and other emotional issues. I wish nothing but the best for her and regret that my children’s privacy has been violated and they are being forced to relive a tragic situation that we have worked so hard as a family to put behind us.”
The Hill says that even though the White House indicated in May that Shanahan would be nominated for the position of Defense secretary, his nomination was never sent to the Senate. Rumors swirled that Trump had “soured” on Shanahan, but Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe called those rumors “phony,” saying that they were only waiting for the FBI background check.
Shanahan now says that sometimes bad things happen to good families and dredging up this situation again “will ruin my son’s life.”