Army Secretary nominee Mark Green has withdrawn from consideration amid fierce opposition from Democrats and advocacy groups, he announced Friday.
The Hill reports Green blamed “false and misleading attacks” against him and said he was stepping aside so as not to be a distraction.
“It is with deep regret I am withdrawing my nomination to be the secretary of the Army,” he said in a statement.
“I am honored that President Trump nominated me for this position. I appreciate his support and confidence in me, as well as that of [Defense] Secretary [James] Mattis and many others, and their desire to Make America Great Again by preparing our military to face the many challenges in the world for the safety and security of our nation.”
Green stirred intense controversy over past comments and his voting record as a Tennessee state senator. Opposition mounted over his stances on the LGBT community, Muslims, Latinos, birth control, evolution and the Second Amendment, among other issues.
He’s said that “transgender is a disease” and agreed with a questioner who said “we need to take a stand on the indoctrination of Islam in our public schools,” among other controversial statements.
Prior to his nomination, Green was known for his military background. He was as a special operations flight surgeon who was the emergency physician during the operation that captured Saddam Hussein in 2003. He was the first person to interrogate Hussein following the capture.
Green is Trump’s second nominee for Army secretary to withdraw. Billionaire Vincent Viola withdrew in February over difficulties untangling from his financial ties.
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