Specifically, Shanahan's former wife Kimberley Jordinson beat him in August 2010 and tried to set his clothes on fire, according to the Washington Post. In a separate November 2011 altercation, his son severely injured Jordinson by beating her with a baseball bat.
Jordinson was charged with domestic violence for the first incident, but Shanahan later had the charges dropped, the Washington Post reported.
Shortly after his then-17-year-old son assaulted Jordinson, Shanahan wrote a memo to his former wife's brother arguing that his son had acted in "self-defense," although he told the Post he now regrets doing so.
Shanahan also arranged to hire a defense team for his son who was ultimately ordered to attend a Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch for 18 months and given four years of probation – both punishments were reduced, according to the newspaper.
"Bad things can happen to good families," Shanahan told the Post, adding that discussing his son's assault publicly "will ruin my son's life."Defense officials were not immediately available for comment.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump said he did not ask Shanahan to withdraw his nomination as defense secretary.
"He walked in this morning and he said it's going to be a rough time for him because of, obviously, what happened," the president said. "But I did not ask him to withdraw. He presented me with a letter this morning. That was his decision."
Trump also said he was unaware of the "very unfortunate" allegations of domestic violence raised in the media until Monday. Despite not knowing about the issues with Shanahan's family, Trump asserted the the White House does not have any problems with vetting nominees for cabinet positions.
"As you know, Pat was acting [defense secretary]," Trump said. "And so, acting gives you much greater flexibility. A lot easier to do things. So that's the way it is. Too bad."
In a statement on Tuesday, Shanahan said he would welcome serving as defense secretary, "but not at the expense of being a good father.
"After having been confirmed for Deputy Secretary less than two years ago, it is unfortunate that a painful and deeply personal family situation from long ago is being dredged up and painted in an incomplete and therefore misleading way in the course of this process," Shanahan said.
"I believe my continuing in the confirmation process would force my three children to relive a traumatic chapter in our family's life and reopen wounds we have worked years to heal," he added. "Ultimately, their safety and well-being is my highest priority."
UPDATE: This story was updated on June 18 with information from the Washington Post, a statement from Patrick Shanahan, and quotes from President Donald Trump.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of "aggressively" shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II plane over international airspace, in yet another sign of the increasing hostility between the two nations.
The encounter between the U.S. and Venezuelan planes occurred on Friday, the same day that the Trump administration announced it was sanctioning four top officials in Venezuela's military counterintelligence agency.
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)
Joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises scheduled for next month are going ahead, a top Seoul official said Saturday, despite a threat by North Korea to boycott working-level talks with Washington and possibly restart nuclear and longer-range missile tests.
(Reuters) - A former National Security Agency contractor was sentenced in Maryland to nine years in prison on Friday for stealing huge amounts of classified material from U.S. intelligence agencies over two decades though officials never found proof he shared it with anyone.