“It took seven months, but President Donald Trump finally has a Senate-confirmed secretary of defense.
“Mark Esper, an Army veteran and former defense industry lobbyist, won Senate confirmation Tuesday by a vote of 90-8.
“He was to be officially sworn in by the end of the day, ending the longest period the Pentagon has gone without a confirmed leader in its history.
“The turmoil atop the Pentagon began when Trump’s first defense secretary, Jim Mattis, stepped down last New Year’s Eve after a series of policy disputes with Trump.
“He offered to stay another two months to get a successor in place, but Trump said no.
“Even with Esper now in charge, the problem of leadership instability at the Pentagon is not fully resolved.”
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