Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Former acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan (L). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

About half an hour before President Trump tweeted that Patrick Shanahan would no longer be his defense secretary, Shanahan left the Oval Office on Tuesday after finally telling Trump he was pulling out.

Why it matters: As early as this morning some top White House officials were under the impression that Shanahan was still committed to getting himself confirmed as Defense Secretary, according to a senior White House official who was involved in the internal conversations.

  • Yesterday, rumors were flying around that Shanahan had already offered Trump his withdrawal, but White House officials denied that when Axios approached them.
  • Today, Yahoo News and USA Today published more details about allegations of domestic violence from Shanahan's divorce records.

Behind the scenes: Shanahan came to the White House late morning and discussed his situation with Trump.

  • Top staff in the room for the meeting included chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, national security adviser John Bolton, press secretary Sarah Sanders and deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, per a source with direct knowledge.
  • Shanahan told Trump that he didn't want to be a distraction for the Department of Defense or for the president and it would be better for the president and better for his own family if he were to withdraw his own nomination, said a source with direct knowledge of the conversation.
  • Shanahan said the domestic abuse allegations from his divorce records would be "a distraction," the source said.
  • Trump told Shanahan he would support him either way and wasn't pressuring him to drop out, the source added.
  • After Shanahan left the room, Trump discussed with his staff how he would announce the decision, the source added. Trump decided he wanted to announce Mark Esper as acting secretary of Defense and would do so via tweet. Trump has a good rapport with Esper, who is close to Trump confidants David Urban and Mike Pompeo. (Esper was in Pompeo's and Urban's West Point class.)

Between the lines: The White House Counsel's Office and other top White House officials have known about Shanahan's divorce records for more than a month, according to White House sources. But Trump told reporters he first found out about the domestic abuse allegations yesterday.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.