Trump Nominates Mark Esper As Next Secretary Of Defense
President Trump nominated Mark T. Esper, the secretary of the Army and former West Point classmate of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on Friday to be the next defense secretary of the United States, the US media reported.
The news comes three days after the abrupt resignation of acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, whose hopes of getting the job collapsed amid ethics questions, complaints about his leadership style and media scrutiny of his troubled family history.
Trump had said in early May that he intended to nominate Shanahan for the post, but he never submitted the paperwork to the Senate.
The White House also said Friday that Trump will nominate Pentagon comptroller David Norquist — the brother of anti-tax activist Grover Norquist — to be deputy Defense secretary, and Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy to be Army secretary.
Esper, a West Point graduate and Gulf War veteran, is already set to become acting Defense secretary when Shanahan’s resignation takes effect on Sunday. But federal law may force him to bow out of that post once Trump formally nominates him.
Esper has been secretary of the Army since November 2017, after spending seven years as a top lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon. He also worked on Capitol Hill as national security adviser for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and as a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.