President Donald Trump’s pick for Navy secretary announced Sunday that he’s withdrawing from consideration for the post over privacy concerns and his business interests. Businessman Philip Bilden has thus become the second Trump nominee to step aside as a result of conflict of interest rules.
In a statement released Sunday announcing his decision, Bilden said that “after an extensive review process, I have determined that I will not be able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics requirements without undue disruption and materially adverse divestment of my family’s private financial interests.” The move leaves Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis with empty posts at the head of both the Army and Navy. Vincent Viola, tapped by Trump to serve as secretary of the Army, withdrew earlier this month. Mattis said he would recommend a new nominee “in the coming days,” for a “leader who can guide our Navy and Marine Corps team as we execute the president’s vision to rebuild our military.” Read more.