Trump's Pick for Army Post Drops Out Amid Growing Criticism - NBC Connecticut
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first year as president

Trump's Pick for Army Post Drops Out Amid Growing Criticism

Green is the second Trump nominee for Army secretary to withdraw

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump's Pick for Army Post Drops Out Amid Growing Criticism
    AP
    FILE – In this April 9, 2013, file photo, state Sen. Mark Green participates in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Nashville, Tenn.

    President Donald Trump's choice for Army secretary withdrew his nomination on Friday in the face of growing criticism over his remarks about Muslims, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.

    Mark Green, a Republican state senator from Tennessee, said in a statement that "false and misleading attacks" against him had turned his nomination into a distraction.

    "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 said, expressing "deep regret" over the decision.

    Green is the second Trump nominee for Army secretary to withdraw.

    Sessions, Franken Clash Over Russian Communication Claims

    [NATL] Sessions, Franken Clash Over Russian Communication Claims

    Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota clashed with Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a Senate hearing on possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, on Oct. 18, 2017.  

    (Published 2 hours ago)

    The move to step aside comes after a video began circulating of a remarks Green gave in September to a tea party group in Chattanooga. Green, who is opposed to gay marriage, said being transgender is a disease. He urged that a stand be taken against "the indoctrination of Islam" in public schools" and also referred to the "Muslim horde" that invaded Constantinople hundreds of years ago.

    Several Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, declared they would oppose Green's nomination over what they said were intolerant and disturbing views. Democrat Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a combat veteran who lost her legs and partial use of her right arm during the Iraq war, said in a statement Friday that Green wasn't fit to lead the service.

    Schumer welcomed Green's move to step aside.

    "Mark Green's decision to withdraw his name from consideration as Army secretary is good news for all Americans, especially those who were personally vilified by his disparaging comments directed toward the LGBTQ community, Muslim community, Latino community and more," he said in a statement.

    Also on Friday, a coalition of 41 organizations led by the Human Rights Campaign called on the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee to reject Green's nomination. The letter to Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Jack Reed of Rhode Island said Green's "shameful rhetoric" is at odds with the Army's core values and will affect recruiting.

    Green's withdrawal underscores the challenges Trump has faced in filling two of the service secretary posts. The president's first pick to be the Army's top civilian, Vincent Viola, dropped out in early February because of financial entanglements, and about three weeks later Philip B. Bilden, the Navy secretary nominee, withdrew for similar reasons.

    Trump, McConnell Discuss Legislative Priorities, GOP Unity

    [NATL] Trump Lays Out 'To-Do' List, Discusses Legislative Priorities With McConnell
    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood together Monday as a show of solidarity during an impromptu question-and-answer session with reporters. 
    The two have publicly feuded in recent weeks, but now, as they're trying to advance the GOP agenda, they say they're closer than ever. 
    (Published Monday, Oct. 16, 2017)

    The GOP-led Senate is scheduled to vote Monday on the nomination of Heather Wilson to be Air Force secretary.

    Trump's decision to tap Green in early April represented a stark contrast to President Barack Obama's choice of Eric Fanning for the post. Fanning, who'd been a senior Pentagon official, was the first openly gay leader of one of the military branches.

    Green graduated from West Point in 1986 and served as an Army physician. Green is the CEO of Align MD, which provides leadership and staffing to emergency departments and hospitals, according to the White House. He served in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment where he made three combat tours to the Middle East.

    As a Tennessee state senator, Green sponsored legislation last year that his critics have said would make it easier for businesses to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

    During his remarks before the Chattanooga tea party group, Green said the Obama administration has "bred general officers who are afraid of their shadow." He also said that "if you poll the psychiatrists, they're going to tell you that transgender is a disease."

    Associated Press writer Erik Schelzig in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed to this report.

    Trump Says Iran Deal Not in US National Security Interests

    [NATL] Trump Says Iran Deal Not in US National Security Interests

    "We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakout," President Donald Trump said on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017.

    (Published Friday, Oct. 13, 2017)