Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan’s nomination “has stalled amid an ethics investigation and a series of unimpressive public performances,” Politico reported Friday.
Citing four sources, the Politico story broke down the multiple reasons the nomination is “on ice,” as one former U.S. official put it.
“The sources aware of the White House discussions believe Shanahan is still in the mix for the job, but they say recent events and his own missteps haven’t done him any favors with President Donald Trump,” Politico explained. “And some said his fate will remain uncertain until the Defense Department’s inspector general finishes a probe into allegations that Shanahan has privately boosted Boeing during meetings at the Pentagon.”
Shanahan worked at Boeing before being tapped by President Donald Trump to lead America’s armed forces.
“The IG investigation has slowed the process down and there are quite a few of us who want to see the report before moving forward, including President Trump,” an unnamed senior White House official told Politico.
Boeing has been under intense public scrutiny since two of its 737 MAX 8 planes crashed, killing 346 people.
“The hearing plus the Boeing thing is why you’re hearing it’s on ice and that’s my understanding, too,” a former U.S. official told Politico.
Another source said the list of reasons was even longer.
“Boeing investigations, ongoing concerns about Boeing favoritism and preferences at the department, speaking ill of Lockheed,” were among the “host of reasons” a Senate Republican source cited as leading to the iced nomination.
Shanahan is scheduled to testify on Tuesday before the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
“Next week is going to go way worse,” the Senate Republican source predicted. “If Shanahan didn’t do well in a Republican hearing, he’s definitely not going to do well in a Democratic-dominated Adam Smith hearing.”