President Trump’s nominee to become the next secretary of the Army withdrew himself from consideration on Friday.
Citing “false and misleading attacks” as the basis for his removal from consideration for the post, Tennessee businessman Mark Green released a statement which read:
“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.”
Controversy over Green’s nomination revolved around several past statements which drew anger from minority groups, notably the LGBTQ, Latino, and Muslim communities.
As recently as last September, Green was quoted at a Tea Party function saying psychiatrists would refer to transgender persons as suffering from a disease. Green is also on record for his opposition to gay marriage and stating students should not learn about the specifics of Islam.
Just prior to Green’s withdrawing from consideration from the post, 41 civil rights and left-wing groups wrote a letter to members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, demanding members reject Green for the position.
Similarly, 11 House members, including seven members of the Tennessee delegation, wrote a letter urging the committee to approve Green for the post. Despite the support, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who chairs Armed Services, described Green’s comments as “concerning.”
In his statement withdrawing from consideration for the senior civilian position at the Pentagon, Green said the criticism had no “bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve,” and he chose to withdraw and avoid being a distraction to the Trump administration.
Green, who is currently a member of the Tennessee state Senate, is the second candidate to drop out of consideration for the post following Vincent Viola’s withdrawal on Feb. 3.
A West Point graduate and physician, Green served for two decades in the U.S. Army, serving three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as a flight surgeon.
Green retired from active duty in 2006 and started Align MD, a hospital staffing firm, which trains and staffs hospital administrators and personnel in 10 states. Green also operates two free clinics in Tennessee.
[Deutsche Welle] [The Tennessean] [Photo courtesy markgreen4tn.com]