Senate confirms top Navy admiral

Senate confirms top Navy admiral
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The Senate on Thursday confirmed Adm. Michael Gilday to be the next chief of naval operations.

Gilday was confirmed by voice vote as the Senate wrapped up work before its August recess.

The confirmation came a day after Gilday’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee and hours after the committee advanced Gilday by voice vote.

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Gilday was President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE’s second choice to be the top admiral in the Navy.

Trump’s first choice for the job, Adm. Bill Moran, was confirmed by the Senate in May, but instead of assuming the job, abruptly retired last month after it was revealed he maintained a professional relationship with someone who had been reprimanded.

Officials said Moran’s decision to maintain a relationship with the officer called into question Moran’s judgment.

Gilday will replace Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, who is set to retire.

Gilday is currently serving as director of the Joint Staff. He previously commanded U.S. 10th Fleet and Fleet Cyber Command.

At his genial confirmation hearing, Gilday talked to senators about U.S. plans for a naval coalition to protect commercial ships in the Gulf region amid tensions with Iran. He said the U.S. proposal would see foreign partners and allies do the bulk of the work, with the United States providing intelligence.

The Senate’s confirmation of Gilday is the latest in a series of swift votes to fill several high-ranking vacancies at the Pentagon.

Last week, the Senate confirmed Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperThe courage of navy captain Brett Crozier Democratic lawmakers call for Navy chief's firing Acting Navy secretary slams fired aircraft carrier captain as 'stupid' in remarks to crew: report MORE and Gen. Mark Milley, who will become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

On Tuesday night, the Senate confirmed Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist. 

On Wednesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee also advanced Gen. John Hyten’s nomination to be vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a 20-7 vote despite continuing controversy stemming from sexual assault allegations against him. But the full Senate is not expected to vote on Hyten until after recess.