Mark Esper testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to be secretary of the U.S. Army in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced late Friday that he intends to nominate acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper to lead the Pentagon.
In a statement, the White House also said Trump intended to nominate David L. Norquist as deputy secretary of Defense and Ryan D. McCarthy as secretary of the Army.
Earlier in the week, Trump announced that he would not nominate acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to take the top role in the Pentagon. Instead, Trump said Esper — who previously was Army secretary — would take over as acting Defense secretary.
Esper had widely been discussed as a possible replacement nominee. The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shanahan left the…