Trump Army Secretary pick Mark Green withdraws nomination after LGBT criticism

BYCHRISTOPHER BRENNAN

(ERIK SCHELZIG/AP)

Updated: Friday, May 5, 2017, 4:30 PM

President Trump’s pick for Army Secretary has withdrawn his nomination afteranti-LGBT comments including saying that being transgender is a "disease."

Tennessee state senator Mark Green said he wanted to “Make America Great Again” by serving in the post, but dropped out of consideration Friday after “false and misleading attacks” led him to become a distraction.

Opposition to his appointment came quickly from Democrats and LGBT groups after the resurfacing of past statements on Muslims, refugees and transgender people.

"If you poll the psychiatrists, they’re going to tell you that transgender is a disease," he told a crowd in Chattanooga last year.

Criticism of the nominee escalated throughout the week, with CNN reporting Thursday that in 2013 he wrote a Facebook post attacking Barack Obama for supporting “transvestites in uniform.”

The Republican also railed against the idea that “you can not have a bible on your desk” because of military rules.

“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 in a statement Friday.

“While these false 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.”

Green had said last week on Facebook that the "liberal left has cut and spliced my words about terrorism and ISIS" after attention to radio comments where he called Syrian refugees "ISIS people."

Days later a group of 21 military academics came out against the nomination, saying that Green "would undermine good order and discipline by fostering dissension within the ranks and sowing confusion about what the military stands for."

The nominee's confirmation process would have gone through the Armed Services Committee, where chairman Sen. John McCain said earlier this week that he was concerned by "a broad variety of statements" from Green.

Green is the second nominee to back out of the confirmation process for Army Secretary, with billionaire Vincent Viola withdrawing in February over questions about business interests with the federal government.

 

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