President Trump’s nominee to be the next Army secretary withdrew his name from consideration Friday, Pentagon officials confirmed to Fox News, after he was accused of making anti-LGBT and Islamophobic remarks.
Mark Green, a Republican state senator from Tennessee, stepped aside after what he called “false and misleading” attacks against him which had caused his nomination to become 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,” he said in a statement first reported by The Tennessean.
“While these attacks have no bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve, I believe it is critical to give the President the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world,” he said.
Several Democrats and some Republicans including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had taken aim at comments he made in September in which he said transgender people are suffering from a disease. McCain called the comments “disturbing.”
Also in September, he said a stand needed to be taken against "the indoctrination of Islam" in public schools. He also referred to the "Muslim horde" that invaded Constantinople centuries ago.
Green is Trump’s second Army secretary to withdraw his from consideration, after Vincent Viola, owner of the Florida Panthers, withdrew his name in early February
Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.