defense secretary

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At Elizabeth Holmes' Trial, a Familiar but Unexpected Face

Ex-SecDef James Mattis testified that former Theranos CEO misled him on blood-testing tech

(Newser) - Former US Secretary of Defense James Mattis testified Wednesday in the trial of fallen tech star Elizabeth Holmes, saying the entrepreneur misled him into believing she was on the verge of rolling out a blood-testing breakthrough that he hoped would help save lives of troops in battle. Mattis' appearance came...

Donald Rumsfeld Dead at 88
Donald Rumsfeld Dies
OBITUARY

Donald Rumsfeld Dies

Defense secretary under 2 presidents never expressed regrets over Iraq war

(Newser) - Donald Rumsfeld, the oldest—and youngest—defense secretary in American history, has died. Relatives said in a statement Wednesday that the 88-year-old "was surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico," the AP reports. A family spokesman says the cause was multiple myeloma. Rumsfeld, who grew up...

US Has Its First Black Defense Secretary

Lloyd Austin wins confirmation to run the Pentagon

(Newser) - Lloyd J. Austin, a West Point graduate who rose to the Army's elite ranks and marched through racial barriers in a 41-year career, won Senate confirmation Friday to become the nation's first Black secretary of defense, per the AP . The 93-2 vote gave President Biden his second Cabinet...

Biden Asks Trump Holdover to Run Pentagon, Temporarily

David Norquist will run Pentagon until Biden pick Lloyd Austin is confirmed

(Newser) - The history books will reflect that Joe Biden's very first defense secretary was an appointee of Donald Trump. But David Norquist will not be in the role very long. Politico reports that Biden will ask Norquist, who currently serves as deputy secretary of defense, to run the Pentagon until...

From All 10 Ex-Defense Secretaries, an 'Exceptional' Op-Ed

They note Biden has won, warn the military has no place getting involved in any election disputes

(Newser) - "The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived." So reads an unusual op-ed that appeared Sunday in the Washington Post , co-signed by all 10 living ex-defense secretaries. The...

Biden's Pentagon Pick Already Controversial

Lloyd Austin is only recently retired from the military

(Newser) - President-elect Biden will nominate retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin to be secretary of defense, according to four people familiar with the decision who spoke to the AP . If confirmed by the Senate, Austin would be the first Black leader of the Pentagon. Biden selected Austin over the longtime...

NATO Chief Responds to Trump's Troop Cuts

ISIS could take advantage of the vacuum in Afghanistan, secretary-general says

(Newser) - President Trump's plan to reduce US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq in the next two months drew a warning Tuesday from NATO. "The price for leaving too soon or in an uncoordinated way could be very high," said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, per the BBC . He said Afghanistan...

Frontrunner for Biden Defense Chief Would Make History

Michele Flournoy, who served at Pentagon under Obama, would be first woman in role

(Newser) - As President-elect Biden starts to make picks for his administration, one name being floated for a Cabinet position would be a historic one. The Hill reports that a frontrunner to head the Defense Department is Michele Flournoy, who served as the department's undersecretary of defense for policy under President...

Trump Responds to Mattis' Scathing Rebuke

President calls his ex-defense secretary 'overrated'

(Newser) - James Mattis pulled no punches Wednesday in a statement blasting President Trump for his response to the George Floyd protests, calling Trump "the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people." Trump fired back at his ex-defense secretary later that evening, per...

Judge Rules Against Trump Administration in Border Wall Case

Federal judge says $3.6B in Pentagon funds can't be diverted to wall construction

(Newser) - The secretary of defense in September authorized the diverting of $3.6 billion in Pentagon funds to build the border wall, but on Tuesday, a federal judge in Texas blocked the Trump administration from doing that, CNN reports. El Paso County, Texas, and Border Network for Human Rights had sued...

'Error-Ridden' Trump Tweet Draws Derision

For one thing, he called the defense secretary 'Mark Esperanto'

(Newser) - President Trump wrote an "error-ridden" tweet Sunday that inspired reporters to take it apart pretty much word by word, Newsweek reports. Now deleted—after thousands of shares—the tweet referred to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper as "Mark Esperanto" and made claims that raised a few eyebrows: "...

After Reported Insult From Trump, Mattis Pushes Back

'I'm the Meryl Streep of generals,' he joked at Alfred E. Smith dinner

(Newser) - In an interview published in August, James Mattis promised that his silence on all things Trump wouldn't be "eternal." CNN reports that on Thursday evening, the former defense secretary lifted the veil just a bit, making joke s about the president at the annual Alfred E. Smith...

Pentagon: We're Sending Jets, Other Air Defense to Saudis

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announces move after Iran claims 2 missiles struck its tanker

(Newser) - The US will send fighter jets and additional air defenses to Saudi Arabia to defend the kingdom against Iran amid heightened tensions between the two Middle Eastern adversaries, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday. Esper announced the deployment of several dozen fighter jets, along with other aircraft and additional air...

US Sending Troops to Saudi Arabia, UAE

No military strike against Iran yet, though

(Newser) - The Pentagon on Friday announced it will deploy additional US troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as President Trump has at least for now put off any immediate military strike on Iran in response to the attack on the Saudi oil industry. Defense...

Ex-Defense Chief: My Silence Won't Be 'Eternal'
Ex-Defense Chief:
'I Had No
Choice but
to Leave'
interview

Ex-Defense Chief: 'I Had No Choice but to Leave'

James Mattis says his silence will not be 'eternal'

(Newser) - In an interview with the Atlantic , former defense chief James Mattis makes clear he is not ready to start bad-mouthing President Trump or his policies. But he also suggested that may change. “There is a period in which I owe my silence," he tells Jeffrey Goldberg. "It’...

The Pentagon Finally Gets a Permanent Leader

Mark Esper confirmed by Senate as defense secretary

(Newser) - The Senate has confirmed Army veteran and former defense industry lobbyist Mark Esper as secretary of defense. The 55-year-old won Senate confirmation on Tuesday by a vote of 90-8 and is to be sworn in by day's end. His confirmation ends a stretch of seven months the Pentagon didn'...

Pick for Defense Chief Abruptly Drops Out

Trump thanks Patrick Shanahan, says ex-nominee wants to spend more time with family

(Newser) - President Trump will need a new nominee to run the Pentagon. Trump announced via tweet that Patrick Shanahan, the current acting defense secretary, has taken his name out of the running for the top job, reports the Wall Street Journal . Shanahan "has done a wonderful job" but "has...

Shanahan Reveals Plan for Border Security

The acting defense secretary wants to leave the Pentagon behind

(Newser) - On a trip to a border city in Texas, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Saturday he intends to accelerate planning to secure the border and bolster the government's ability to accomplish that without the Pentagon's continuous help, the AP reports. Shanahan told reporters traveling with him to...

Trump Officially Names Defense Nominee

Says he'll nominate acting secretary Patrick Shanahan

(Newser) - President Trump on Thursday said he will nominate Patrick Shanahan to be his second secretary of defense. Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, has been leading the Pentagon as acting secretary since Jan. 1, a highly unusual arrangement for arguably the most sensitive Cabinet position, the AP reports. "Acting Secretary...

Jimmy Carter's Defense Secretary Had One Big Regret

Harold Brown never forgot what happened in Iran

(Newser) - Harold Brown, who as defense secretary in the Carter administration championed cutting-edge fighting technology during a tenure that included the failed rescue of hostages in Iran, has died at age 91. Brown died Friday, said the Rand Corp., the California-based think tank which Brown served as a trustee for more...

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