President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as the secretary of the Army has withdrawn his name from consideration.
According to published reports, Vincent “Vinnie” Viola, the billionaire Wall Street trader and one of the owners of the Florida Panthers professional hockey team, dropped out of consideration after realizing his business interests would be too difficult to separate from his government service.His withdrawal was confirmed by sources in the White House who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to comment on the record.
Viola is not the first Trump nominee to throw in the towel prior to starting the job. Monica Crowley, Trump’s nominee for a top national security communications role, withdrew her name after allegations arose she plagiarized large portions of her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University in 2000.
This leaves the Army without a top administrator in a time where the service has only had a full-time secretary for a few months in the last two years. Eric Fanning, an Obama appointee, had a rough confirmation process, leaving his undersecretary, former Pennsylvania congressman Patrick Murphy, acting at the Army secretary for four months after his own confirmation.