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Press Gaggle by Acting Secretary Shanahan

May 9, 2019
Acting Secretary Of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan

QUESTION:  ...You've been nominated now.  

Q:  Come on!  

Q:  (off mic)  ...nomination, Mr. Secretary.  

Q: It's a happy day.  

Q:  You have time.  You have time.  It's a big day.  


Q:  Any comments on being nominated?  

Q:  Congratulations.  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  I called my mom.  



SEC. SHANAHAN:  She -- she was super happy.  

Q:  Are you excited?  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  Very excited.  

Q:  What's going to be your priorities for going forward in the next few months?  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  Do -- do the job.  I mean, I think -- and we've all worked together -- the National Defense Strategy obviously is the high priority, but as you can tell there are real world events that happen every day, and so you have to spin a lot of plates.  

Q:  What about Iran, Mr. Secretary?  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  It's -- as you can see, it's an emerging, important issue.  I was with Secretary Pompeo today.  Look for a statement from him.  I think it's a very well-coordinated and crafted statement, and I think there's a lot you can read into what he's going to say.  

Q:  Does it involve more military deployments?  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  I think the -- the statement's very clear on expectations and how we'll hold people accountable.  

Q:  And can you give us an assessment on what North Korea fired overnight?  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  I know what they fired.  I -- I think we'll hold off on talking about what it is, but we're going to stick to our diplomacy, and as you all know, we haven't changed our operations or our posture, and we'll continue to generate the readiness we need in case diplomacy fails.  

Q:  And what is your biggest challenge as secretary of defense?  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  The biggest challenge is balancing it all.  I'd say, for me it's about practicing select-ful neglect so that we can stay focused on the future, but not -- not ignore a lot of the emerging really important issues that, you know, pop up day to day that you don't plan for.  


Q:  When did the president tell you -- when did he tell you, today?  

Q:  When did you know that you'd been nominated?  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  Today.  

Q:  What -- what time today?  Early this morning?  At the White House?  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  This afternoon.  At -- at the White House.  

Q:  At the White House.  Thank you.  

SEC. SHANAHAN:  Thank you.