Shanahan drops out of running for defense secretary

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan's decision coincides with media reports which detail episodes of domestic violence.
2:11 | 06/19/19

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Transcript for Shanahan drops out of running for defense secretary
We'll go to the latest on that shake-up at the white house. President trump's pick for defense secretary suddenly resigning amid revelations about past domestic violence in his family. ABC's Terry Moran has more in Washington. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning. This is a stunning development. Patrick Shanahan has been serving as acting secretary of defense for months and as you say was widely expected that president trump would nominate him to lead the Pentagon but when these disturbing incidents arose from the sad and bitter breakup of his marriage years ago, Shanahan withdrew. Shanahan delivered the news to president trump in person who later praised his pick for defense secretary. He is a terrific person and it's a difficult time for pat, but he's going to take a little time off for family service and for working things out. Reporter: And it is his family that is at the center of Shanahan's resignation. "The Washington post" reports that police were sent to the Shanahan house in 2010 for a domestic violence call. Both Shanahan and his then wife Kimberly were accusing each other of physical violence. He later dropped charges and he divorced. There was an even more alarming incident involving the couple's 17-year-old son will. I'd like to acknowledge my three children who have accompanied me here today. Reporter: According to a police report from 2011, will beat his mother with a baseball bat after an argument. The report saying that will knowingly and intentionally shoved and pinned his mother to a wall swinging the bat multiple times and striking the back of her head and torso causing seriously bodily harm including a bloody head wound, fractured elbow and fractured skull. Well, after that attack, Patrick Shanahan came to his son's defense and wrote a memo to help with the court case as he described that as self-defense and told "The Washington post" he was wrong to write those sentences. Will Shanahan pled guilty to a felony charge and was scheduled to spend time at a sheriff's ranch and put on probation and graduated from college last year. A big hearing on capitol hill will raise the issue of

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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