Pentagon opens internal investigation into interim defense chief's links to Boeing

The specific allegations reviewed by the Defense Department's Inspector General focus on complaints, reported for the first time in Politico, that Mr. Shanahan allegedly denigrated Boeing's competitors at Pentagon meetings with senior officials of the US Department of Defense. national security and legislators, said two US officials.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts and a member of the Armed Forces Committee who would review Mr. Shanahan's confirmation that he was named, said that she had alerted the Pentagon's internal watchdog after learning that he "could have pleaded on behalf of his former employer, Boeing, while he was acting defense secretary." "

"Americans should be able to trust that government officials are working for them – not for big defense contractors," presidential candidate Warren said in a statement.

While Mr. Mattis resigned to protest Mr. Trump's policies – including the surprise announcement of the withdrawal of US troops from Syria – Mr. Shanahan held the line for the president.

As Assistant Secretary of Defense, Shanahan said, "We are not the No Department," he told officials after the administration announced plans to create a new one. autonomous space force at the Pentagon. It has since been placed under the surveillance of the Air Force.

Since he became acting Secretary of Defense, Mr. Shanahan has aroused the anger of some lawmakers. Last month, Oklahoma Republican Senator James M. Inhofe, Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee, said he did not believe Mr. Shanahan shared "the humility" of Mr. Mattis, but did not explain. South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also clashed with Shanahan last month over the planned withdrawal of her troops from Syria.

Last week, Shanahan appeared before Inhofe's committee to sell the Pentagon's proposed $ 750 billion budget for fiscal year 2020, aimed at countering threats from Russia and China. modernize an army that has long been focused on counter-insurgency conflicts.

Senators discussed it on a number of issues, including Trump's decision to acquire billions of dollars from the Department of Defense for the construction of a border wall and the Pentagon's decision to push for standards. chemicals in drinking water are lower.

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