Trump’s new Pentagon chief recuses himself from matters involving boeing

Pentagon comptroller to serve as acting deputy defense secretary

Pentagon comptroller to serve as acting deputy defense secretary

Acrimony between Trump and prominent former military leaders has spilled into the open in the wake of Mattis' resignation.

He added, "President Obama fired him, and essentially so did I".

During televised remarks ahead of his first cabinet meeting of 2019, Trump claimed he had "essentially fired" Mattis, even though the former Pentagon chief had pointedly quit his post over multiple disagreements.

Trump suggested that Shanahan, who took over as acting defense secretary when Mattis ended his tenure Monday, agrees with him on this. Mattis implicitly criticized Trump in his resignation letter for failing to value allies who fight alongside the United States, including in places like Syria.

Among the most immediate issues on his plate will be the pace at which the U.S. pulls 2,200 or so troops out of Syria, after Trump's decision last month to exit the war-torn country.

Currently, Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive has been overlooking operations at the Pentagon as the acting US Secretary of Defence. "We need to control our borders", he said.

The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not elaborate on Shanahan's views on China.

Shanahan's nomination to deputy secretary required a Senate hearing that ultimately forced him to recuse himself from matters involving Boeing in the deputy role as well.

Other officials have described Shanahan as an advocate of the Pentagon's toughening stance toward Beijing.

They say Shanahan also told the officials to focus on "China, China, China", even as the U.S. fights militants in Syria and Afghanistan.

Trump tweeted days later that Mattis would depart the administration at the beginning of the year, as opposed to his initial departure date of February 28, writing that he had given Mattis a "second chance" in government after he was "ingloriously fired" by former President Barack Obama.

Norquist has been the department's comptroller and chief financial officer since June 2017, and his duties include overseeing the Pentagon's annual budget.

Appearing at Mr. Trump's side during Wednesday's Cabinet meeting at the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Shanahan said the Army Corps of Engineers was "dialed in" to help construct additional parts of Mr. Trump's Mexico border wall and that the Pentagon was exploring how to strengthen its support of the Department of Homeland Security's drive to curb illegal immigration.

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