GOP chairman dismisses 'phony' report of Trump second guessing Shanahan nomination

GOP chairman dismisses 'phony' report of Trump second guessing Shanahan nomination
© Stefani Reynolds
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeLincoln Project expands GOP target list, winning Trump ire Trump's contempt for advice and consent Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  MORE (R-Okla.) on Wednesday dismissed a news report that said President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE was having second thoughts on naming Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanHouse Armed Services chairman expresses confidence in Esper amid aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis Boeing pleads for bailout under weight of coronavirus, 737 fallout Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January MORE as Defense secretary.
 
"It's just a phony report that the president's going soft on this. He's not. I talked to him as recently as yesterday, and he's still committed on Shanahan," Inhofe said when asked about the status of the nomination.
 
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NBC News reported on Tuesday that Trump "appears to be having second thoughts" about naming Shanahan to lead the Pentagon. Four sources told the outlet that Trump had been asking about alternative candidates to Shanahan, who has been acting secretary since the beginning of the year.
 
The White House announced Trump's intention to nominate Shanahan as Defense secretary in early May. His nomination has been in limbo since then as lawmakers wait for Trump to formally submit the nomination to the Senate.
 
In the meantime, Shanahan has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill to meet with senators. He told reporters, when spotted in the Senate late last week, that he thought his paperwork would be submitted "soon."
 
 
Inhofe told reporters on Wednesday that the hold-up had to do with waiting for the FBI's background check on Shanahan to wrap up and be submitted.
 
"They can't do that until after the FBI report comes in," Inhofe said, adding that it will probably be "another week" until the White House sends the nomination. 
 
A staffer who was standing next to Inhofe said the nomination could come as earlier as this week, though it might slip into next week.
 
Shanahan has had his ups and downs during the months-long process for picking a successor to Mattis, who resigned last year.
 
A high-profile feud with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senator draws fire from all sides on Biden, Obama-era probes Has Congress captured Russia policy? Graham on Harris: 'No issue' as to whether 'she is an American citizen' MORE (R-S.C.), an ally of Trump's, over Syria policy led to speculation that Shanahan could have trouble getting confirmed despite Republican control of the Senate.

In April, Shanahan faced an ethics review at the Pentagon. The Defense Department watchdog later cleared him of allegations that he violated his ethics agreement by favoring his former employer Boeing while serving in government.