Anthony Capaccio, defense reporter at Bloomberg News, discusses the inspector general’s report about Acting Secretary Shanahan’s ties to Boeing, and what the findings mean.
After being accused of ethics violations, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Pentagon’s Inspector General. Many of the allegations revolved around Shanahan’s past at the defense contractor Boeing. The Acting DepSec was accused of using his position to promote Boeing products to military officials. However, Anthony Capaccio, defense reporter at Bloomberg News, says that’s not the case. “Given that he was a red headline when he came in because of his Boeing experience. He developed an elaborate system of checks and balances, a screening mechanism to keep him away from Boeing decisions or discussions,” Capaccio said. “The report talks about a couple times where he walked out of the room when Boeing was going to be discussed. He had a very tight standards of conduct agreement that included provisions for waivers, if he thought he needed to get involved in the Boeing program. He never executed the waiver process. The lines you don’t cross; you don’t sign acquisition documents saying you need to buy these planes in the 2020 budget. You don’t go and speak about how we think the Boeing F-18 is a great plane. There are verbal and actionable things that you don’t articulate.”