Sarah Sanders

Behind the scenes of Patrick Shanahan's final Oval Office meeting

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.

The highlights from Trump's 50-minute birthday "Fox & Friends" call

Screenshot via Fox News

President Trump spent 50 minutes of his 73rd birthday on the phone with the hosts of "Fox & Friends" Thursday — the latest in a series of free-wheeling interviews with one of his favorite TV shows.

The big picture: The chat covered the hottest topics of the news cycle — from Sarah Sanders' White House departure to Kellyanne Conway's Hatch Act violation — and Trump even managed to break some news on the border.