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Trump Floats Former Virginia Senator As Next Defense Secretary 

Source: New York Times

January 04 2019


The Trump administration is considering former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) as a candidate for secretary of defense, reports the New York Times.

Vice President Mike Pence and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, have reached out to Webb, who served as Navy secretary during the Reagan administration, three officials said.  

President Donald Trump is reportedly attracted to Webb's foreign policy positions, including the former senator's opposition to the Iraq war, reported Politico.

Webb, a Marine veteran who served in Vietnam, has also taken a strong rhetorical line against Chinese actions in the South China Sea. 

His chances depend in part on the opinions of senior military and defense officials, as well as his positions on ongoing operations in Syria and Afghanistan. 

Other names under consideration include former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.), and current senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned on Dec. 31 after Trump announced his intent to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and reduce the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. 

Trump has also suggested that current acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, could stay in the position for the foreseeable future. 

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