Trump to nominate Esper, Norquist, McCarthy

By Tony Bertuca / June 21, 2019 at 10:30 PM

The White House announced tonight that President Trump intends to formally nominate Army Secretary Mark Esper to become the next defense secretary.

Meanwhile, acting Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist has been selected to hold the job permanently and Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy will be nominated to take Esper's place as service secretary.

Esper will become acting defense secretary Monday upon the resignation of Pat Shanahan, who has served in the post since Jan. 1.

Esper is scheduled to travel to a NATO defense meeting next week.

Trump initially intended to nominate Shanahan to be Pentagon chief, but the nomination collapsed amid media reports of past violent incidents involving Shanahan's ex-wife and son.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) released a statement saying Trump has made a "wise choice."

"This position is far too important to our national security to continue being filled on an acting basis," he said.

Inhofe also praised Norquist and McCarthy and said he supports their nominations.

"I am glad we're moving closer to having confirmed senior leadership at the Pentagon -- though more work remains -- and I look forward to bringing all three nominees in before the Armed Services Committee as soon as possible."