donald trump

President Donald J. Trump waits to enter Arlington National Cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater on Memorial Day, Arlington, Va., May 29, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser/Arlington National Cemetery)

WASHINGTON — The White House says President Donald Trump is nominating Raytheon lobbyist Mark Esper to be the next secretary of the Army.

Esper has been the top lobbyist for major defense contractor Raytheon since 2010. He also has experience working in the House and Senate, at the Pentagon and at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

The White House says Esper served in the Army, including during the first Gulf War. He has also worked for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and on former presidential candidate Fred Thompson’s 2008 campaign.

The Senate must confirm Esper’s nomination. Trump’s earlier two picks for Army secretary dropped out.

Trump’s critics have raised questions about the number of lobbyists serving in his administration despite his pledge to “drain the swamp.”

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