WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump pulled aside Patrick Shanahan, the acting secretary of Defense, following a cabinet meeting to ask him about finding employment for Donald Trump Jr. as an "Army guy," sources confirmed today.
“Pat, question for you,” the president began, "There’s my son, Don, you know him, Don Junior. He always wanted to be an Army guy when he was little. I mean, I think he did, I heard this from his nannies. They barely spoke English, so who knows? Anyway, so I thought, why don’t we get him a job as an Army guy?”
Sources report that Shanahan, who until the end of December had worked as the deputy under then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis, stood smiling politely as Trump continued explaining his request.
“He could be a great commander, a very, very powerful military leader,” said the president. "I've got a great eye for it — I went to a military prep school, it was just like the Army. So, I know what I'm talking about, and believe me, Don has what it takes.”
"So let's make him a big shot," Trump added. "Maybe not a general to start. He's gotta work his way up. It's the military. I understand, believe me. But start him at something higher than a colonel. Colonel sounds low, too low. Reminds me of Colonel Sanders. What about marshal? That's a rank, right? Doesn't matter, we'll make it a rank.”
Continuing his unbroken monologue — during which Shanahan stopped smiling and began slowly rubbing his forehead — Trump also ruled out the possibility of commissioning his son in the other branches of the military.
“You might ask, what about the Navy? But no, we dressed Don and Eric up as sailors when they were kids, age 15 or so, and it was no good, they looked like sissies. Or Marines? But they're the same as the Army, no difference, I can't see much difference. Why don't we merge them, by the way? Has anyone thought of that, merging the Marines and the Army? Would save a lot of money. Anyway. Air Force? No—Trumps don't fly planes, we pay other people to fly so we can sit back with first-class service. Only the best service on my planes, believe me. Air Force One is decent, but it's not the best, believe me, I've had the best."
Sources confirm that Trump admitted this was not the first time he had made this request.
"I ran this by the guy who came before you [Secretary James Mattis], and I gotta say, he wasn’t thrilled,” the president said. "That’s part of why I fired him."
“Because I did fire him,” Trump clarified. "He didn’t resign, I fired him after he gave me his letter of resignation. It was a firing.”
At the conclusion of their meeting, sources report, Shanahan told the president that his new duties were keeping him "quite busy." He then suggested revisiting the president's proposal on February 30th, and walked briskly out of the Oval Office before the president could look at a calendar.