WASHINGTON – After months of delay, President Donald Trump is expected to nominate a successor to Jim Mattis as secretary of defense on Monday.
It will be Mark Esper, who has been serving as acting secretary of defense since June, when Patrick Shanahan abruptly quit after serving as the acting secretary for six months. Mattis resigned last December.
The leadership vacuum at the Pentagon has raised questions in Congress at a time of heightened tensions with Iran.
Once Esper’s nomination is received by the Senate, Esper would step aside pending confirmation. His confirmation hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
In Esper’s absence, the civilian head of the Navy, Richard Spencer, would be acting defense secretary. That arrangement would last only a few days, if Esper is confirmed quickly by the Senate as expected.
Local journalism is essential.
The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.