Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan’s private remarks during his 18 months at the Pentagon have spurred accusations that he is boosting his former employer Boeing, people who have witnessed the exchanges told Politico — fueling questions about whether he harbors an unfair bias against other big military contractors.
Shanahan, who spent 31 years at Boeing before joining the Pentagon in mid-2017, has signed an ethics agreement recusing him from weighing in on matters involving the mammoth defense contractor. But that hasn’t stopped him from praising Boeing and trashing competitors such as Lockheed Martin during internal meetings, two former government officials who have heard him make the accusations told Politico.
The remarks raise questions among ethics experts about whether Shanahan, intentionally or not, is putting his finger on the scale when it comes to Pentagon priorities. They also call new attention to a recent decision by the Pentagon to request new Boeing fighters that the Air Force has said it does not want — a request that Bloomberg Click has reported came after "prodding" from Shanahan. (end of excerpt)
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