It's been months since former Defense Secretary James Mattis announced his resignation, and President Donald Trump still hasn't nominated a permanent replacement.
What's more, as Foreign Policy reports, the man whom Trump tapped as his acting defense secretary has been flubbing his audition to be nominated for the job.
Sources tell the magazine that the Trump White House is "souring" on acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan after he botched a recent appearance in front of Capitol Hill lawmakers.
According to Foreign Policy's sources, Shanahan looked "dazed and confused" by lawmakers' questions about American defense policy, which has put his future as the potential head of the DOD in jeopardy.
Additionally, the Defense Department Office of Inspector General has been investigating whether Shanahan, a former executive at defense contractor Boeing, has been unfairly biased toward his old employer while leading the Pentagon. Specifically, the IG is looking into whether Shanahan routinely disparaged rival defense contractor Lockheed Martin during his tenure.
"The [inspector general] investigation has really thrown them for a loop," one source explained. "It has really derailed the process of sending his credentials to the Hill for consideration."
Mattis announced his resignation in December in protest of Trump's abrupt decision to unilaterally withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.