President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, appeared to sail through Tuesday's hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee despite being grilled by a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, over his ties to the defense contractor Raytheon, where he previously worked as a lobbyist.
Republicans expressed relief on Tuesday when President Donald Trump announced Mark Esper, who currently serves as Secretary of the Army, would be the new acting Secretary of Defense after the dramatic implosion of Patrick Shanahan's nomination.
United Technologies and Raytheon are joining forces to create an aerospace and defense powerhouse. It is one of the biggest corporate mergers of 2019.
Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, blamed his investment firm for a purchase of thousands of dollars in defense stock and claimed he was unaware of the transaction at the time.