Mattis’ ‘Interim’ Replacement Seen To Be On Extended Audition For The Job

on January 28, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia.
ARLINGTON, VA - JANUARY 28: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan talks to the media prior to welcoming NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during an honor cordon at the Pentagon on January 28, 2019 in Arlin... ARLINGTON, VA - JANUARY 28: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan talks to the media prior to welcoming NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during an honor cordon at the Pentagon on January 28, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. Stoltenberg quoted that President Donald Trump "is committed to NATO" and deserves credit in obtaining $100 billion more in defense spending for the alliance. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 4, 2019 7:58 a.m.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, is considered to be in the midst of a months-long tryout for the permanent spot, according to a Sunday Wall Street Journal report.

Shanahan has had some missteps, including forgetting to consult the White House on some personnel decisions and praising his predecessor, Jim Mattis, after Mattis had become persona non grata with President Donald Trump.

Some also worry that Shanahan’s lack of experience will keep him from being an effective check on Trump’s mercurial moods and decision making like Mattis was.

Though Trump speaks fondly of his interim chief, Vice President Mike Pence is still scouting for possible alternates, should Shanahan ultimately fail to please.

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