McCain threatens to block Trump’s nominee for Deputy Secretary of Defense after being unsatisfied with his answers on how to respond to Russian aggression against Ukraine.
NBC News reports, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, scolded Trump nominee Patrick Shanahan for his indirect response to a written question on providing the Ukrainians with lethal defense weapons.
“The provision of lethal defensive equipment as part of our already robust security assistance program is an option I plan to look at closely if I am confirmed,” Shanahan wrote, adding: “I do not have access to classified assessments of the performance of the Ukrainian and Russian militaries in the course of the conflict, and particularly the impact of the security assistance we have provided thus far.”
“Inexplicably, you responded by saying you have to look at the issue,” McCain remarked to Shanahan. “That’s not satisfactory. Mr. Shanahan, would you wish to abridge or amend your statement?”
Shanahan responded that he would support arming Ukrainians, at which point McCain stated that this was not good enough.
“Your response to that question was frankly very disappointing,” McCain said. “It’s not good enough. I’m glad to hear you’ve changed your answer but it’s still disturbing to me after all these years that you would say that you have to look at the issue. Have you not been aware of the issue?”
Noting that Shanahan worked for defense contractor Boeing, “one of the five corporations that provide 90 percent of the United States’ defensive weaponry,” McCain said that he he expected a better answer considering that background.
“Have you not been aware of the actions of the Senate Armed Services Committee? Have you not been aware of the thousands of people that have been killed by Vladimir Putin? Have you missed all that in your duties at one of the major defense corporations in this country?” McCain said.
MeCain went on the threaten to block Shanahan’s nomination. “I’ve got to tell you it’s very disturbing. Not a good beginning. Not a good beginning,” McCain said, warning: “Do not do that again, Mr. Shanahan, or I will not take your name up for a vote before this committee. Am I perfectly clear?”