WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s choice for Army secretary withdrew his nomination Friday afternoon after weeks of withering criticism over past statements he has made about gays and lesbians, Muslims and other groups.
Mark Green, a veteran and Republican state senator from Tennessee, issued a statement in which he said he was pulling his name from consideration to avoid creating distractions for Trump, 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.
“And unfortunately due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction,” he said. “Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain. “
Green is Trump’s second choice for Army secretary to withdraw. Trump’s first pick, Vincent Viola, the billionaire owner of the Florida panthers, withdrew his nomination in February, citing difficulties in divesting himself from his businesses. Trump then nominated Green for the job in April.