Army Secretary Nominee Withdraws Amid Fierce Opposition

FILE - In this April 17, 2013, file photo, state Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, sits at his desk in the Senate chamber in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)
FILE - In this April 17, 2013, file photo, state Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, sits at his desk in the Senate chamber in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)

WASHINGTON -- The Republican state senator from Tennessee picked by President Donald Trump to be Army secretary has withdrawn from consideration.

Mark Green quickly saw opposition from Democrats who became worried his personal views wouldn't bode well for soldiers or potential recruits. A few Republicans, such as Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, also noted their concern.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, said in a statement that had Green been confirmed, it "would send the wrong message to brave and selfless Americans who simply wish to serve their nation."

Duckworth, who was an Army National Guard Black Hawk pilot, lost both legs in a crash in Iraq.

Sources first told CNN earlier this week Green would likely withdraw his name. He is the second Trump nominee for Army secretary to withdraw.

During the review process, the decorated West Point graduate came under fire for past unfavorable comments about the LGBTQ community as well as Muslims.

Several Democrats have denounced Green for declaring that being transgender is a disease. He is opposed to gay marriage.

Green said in a statement that "false and misleading attacks" against him have made his nomination a distraction. He said his life of public service and Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized for political gain.

During a speech last September, Green urged that a stand be taken against "the indoctrination of Islam" in public schools. He also referred to the "Muslim horde" that invaded Constantinople centuries ago.

Trump's first Army secretary nominee, Vincent Viola, and Navy secretary nominee Philip Bilden in February withdrew from consideration, citing business and financial concerns.

Meanwhile, the president's pick to be the next secretary of the Air Force will head to a Senate floor vote next week. The chamber is expected to vote on Heather Wilson, a former congresswoman and Air Force Academy graduate, on Monday.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this story.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

Show Full Article