President Donald Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden, has withdrawn from consideration for the post citing concerns about privacy and separating himself from his business interests.
In a statement by the Department of Defense, Bilden said he determined that he would not be able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics requirements without what he called “undue disruption and materially adverse divestment of my family’s private financial interests”.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in the statement, said that he would make a recommendation to Trump for a nominee in the coming days.
“While I am disappointed, I understand and respect his decision and know that he will continue to support our nation in other ways.
“In the coming days, I will make a recommendation to President Trump for a leader who can guide our Navy and Marine Corps team as we execute the president’s vision to rebuild our military,” Mattis said.
Bilden’s withdrawal followed that of Vincent Viola, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army, who withdrew earlier this month.
Viola cited his inability to successfully navigate the confirmation process and Defense Department rules concerning family businesses.
Trump’s nominee as Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, had also recently withdrawn after a video from the Oprah Winfrey Show was released, which showed Puzder’s ex-wife saying he abused her.
Similarly, a day before Puzder withdrew, ex-National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, put in his resignation.
Flynn was forced to resign from the position following reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.