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Trump to nominate Patrick Shanahan to be permanent secretary of defense

Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump plans to nominate acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to permanently head up the Pentagon.

Why it matters: Shanahan is the longest acting defense secretary in U.S. history, having served in the post for 128 days — a period in which the U.S. has moved closer to military escalation with Venezuela and Iran. Shanahan, who replaced James Mattis after his resignation, was investigated by the Pentagon's inspector general for alleged bias toward his former employer Boeing, but has since been cleared.