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Trump’s second army secretary pick withdraws

Washington, May 6 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s second pick for Army secretary announced that he was withdrawing his name from consideration, the media reported.

“It is with deep regret today (Friday) I am withdrawing my nomination to be the Secretary of the Army,” CNN quoted Mark Green as saying in a statement.

Green’s move to withdraw came after earlier controversial statements he made over LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) issues and Islam were revealed.

He said his decision to pull out was in the wake of this controversy.

“To meet these challenges, there should be no distractions. And unfortunately due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction,” Green said in his statement.

“Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterised and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain,” he added.

Green, a retired Army flight surgeon, was tapped in April as Trump’s pick after billionaire Vincent Viola withdrew over issues related to divesting from his financial holdings, reports CNN.

Philip Bilden, Trump’s pick to be Navy secretary, also withdrew because he was not able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics’ requirements for divestment without “undue disruption” of his assets.

Green, currently a state senator in Tennessee, faced rising opposition from LGBT activists and Democrats for his past comments about transgender people.

In 2016, Green told a tea party group, “if you poll the psychiatrists, they’re going to tell you that transgender is a disease”.

In 2013, Green blasted former President Barack Obama for supporting what he said were “transvestites in uniform”.

Green is also a self-identified “creationist” who has delivered a lecture arguing against the theory of evolution.

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