I was actually starting to like this guy. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan stood up to Donald Trump recently, when the idiocy of the White House directing the 7th Fleet to conceal the USS John McCain under tarps so as not to upset Trump’s delicate fee fees, was revealed. Shanahan said that the military was not to be used for political purposes. Good for him, said I. A man with a sense of propriety. Then today it was announced that Shanahan is withdrawing his Senate confirmation bid to be Secretary of Defense, in light of the fact that he and his ex-wife used to brawl — and of course they have different versions of who was the aggressor and who the victim. USA Today:
The incident, in which Shanahan and his then-wife Kimberley both claimed to the police that they had been punched by the other, did not surface when Trump nominated Shanahan to be the Pentagon’s second-in-command two years ago, or when he was selected to be the interim defense chief this year. [When Jim Mattis resigned.]
Shanahan said he “never laid a hand on” his former wife. His former wife, who now goes by the name Kimberley Jordinson, said she stands by her account.
The episode could have been a potential roadblock for Shanahan if Trump formally nominated him for the secretary’s post, which requires Senate confirmation, because a key lawmaker and Senate aides said it could have raised questions about his ability to combat longstanding problems of violence against women in the military. Among the concerns of Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services committee, and Senate aides: They were not fully aware of the incident when Shanahan was confirmed for the No. 2 position; and the Senate should have the opportunity to assess whether he was the aggressor or victim and how that could affect his ability to lead the armed forces.
The question is going to be whether or not he’s credible on the issue. If he’s credible, he’ll be OK,” said Leon Panetta, who was defense secretary and CIA director during President Barack Obama’s administration. “These days nothing is out of bounds.”
I’m with Leon Panetta. The only thing we haven’t seen out of Trump world is an ax murderer nominated for some high position of trust, but don’t rule it out. The day is young.