14:11 GMT05 August 2020
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    On Tuesday US President Donald Trump announced in a tweet that Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan would not proceed with his confirmation process, nominating Army Secretary Mark Esper to take over the post.

    "Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration: Mark T. Esper of Virginia to be Secretary of Defense," the White House said in a statement late on Friday.

    On Friday, The Washington Post reported, citing a senior White House official, that Trump is expected to announce his intention to nominate Army Secretary Mark Esper to become his Secretary of Defence.

    Esper is expected to take over as acting Secretary of Defence on Sunday, according to AP.

    Earlier in the day, The New York Times reported the US president's intention to officially nominate Esper.

    Shanahan left the Pentagon on Friday, with a "hearty farewell" received from colleagues, and Esper to see his predecessor off.

    ​The nomination comes against the backdrop of a "leadership vacuum" in the US Department of Defence as it faces rising tensions with Iran. Trump has reportedly been under pressure from US lawmakers urging the president to "bring stable civilian leadership to the Pentagon," The Washington Post reported.

    Esper, 55 , previously worked as a vice president for government relations at the Raytheon Company and is an Army, Defence Department, and Capitol Hill veteran who served with distinction in the Gulf War, according to US-based media reports.

    The position of Army Secretary, which will be vacant following Esper's departure, will reportedly be filled by Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy, according to AP.

    Related:

    FBI Reviews Old Domestic Abuse Claims Against Shanahan as Trump Moves to Replace Him With Esper
    Four Fast Facts About Mark Esper, Trump's Pick for Secretary of Defence
    Trump: Mark Esper to Become US Acting Secretary of Defence as Shanahan Quits
    Tags:
    nomination, Mark Esper, Donald Trump, iran, US
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