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Trump nominates Mark Esper for secretary of Defense post

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump formally nominated Army Secretary Mark Esper as secretary of Defense on Friday evening, Politico reports.

Why it matters: This comes after several months of leadership instability at the Pentagon. Earlier this week, acting Defense secretary Patrick Shanahan stepped down from his role. His resignation will become effective Sunday.

Details: Esper is an Army veteran who served in the Gulf War. He has been secretary of the Army since November 2017, worked on Capitol Hill and for defense contractor Raytheon. Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Esper cannot serve as acting Defense secretary while the Senate undergoes its confirmation process. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer is likely to be named the new acting secretary, per the Pentagon’s succession order.

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