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weekly primer
Mar 21, 2019

This Week: Acting Pentagon Chief’s Alleged Pro-Boeing Bias Gets New Attention

The Pentagon’s inspector general is looking into allegations that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who spent more than 30 years at Boeing before joining the Trump administration, improperly boosted the company as a government official. The investigation came in response to a complaint from the independent watchdog group CREW, which in turn cited a January report from Politico that Shanahan’s remarks as a government employee had “fuel[ed] questions about whether he harbors an unfair bias against other big military contractors.” We flagged that Politico report in a weekly primer at the time: Shanahan reportedly referred to the Lockheed F-35 fighter jet program as “fucked up” and said the company “doesn’t know how to run a program.” A month earlier, Bloomberg Government had reported that “with some prodding from Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan,” the Air Force would request $1.2 billion for 12 of Boeing’s new F-15X fighter aircraft. Ultimately, after some public push back from air war experts baffled…

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