NASHVILLE (AP) – The Republican state senator from Tennessee picked by President Donald Trump to be Army secretary has withdrawn from consideration.
Mark Green steps aside amid intensifying criticism over his remarks about LGBT Americans and Muslims. Green is the second Trump nominee for Army secretary to withdraw.
Several Democrats have denounced Green for declaring that being transgender is a disease. He is opposed to gay marriage.
Green says in a statement that “false and misleading attacks” against him have made his nomination a distraction. He says his life of public service and Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized for political gain.
During a speech last September, Green urged that a stand be taken against “the indoctrination of Islam” in public schools. He also referred to the “Muslim horde” that invaded Constantinople centuries ago.
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Green announced a run for Tennessee governor earlier this year. It is unknown if he is still planning to run.
Below the full statement he released Friday:
It is with deep regret today I am withdrawing my nomination to be the Secretary of the Army.
I am honored that President Trump nominated me for this position. I appreciate his support and confidence in me, as well as that of Secretary Mattis and many others, and their desire to Make America Great Again by preparing our military to face the many challenges in the world for the safety and security of our nation.
But to meet these challenges, there should be no distractions. And unfortunately due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has 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. 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.
Camie and I look forward to finding other opportunities to use our gifts to serve others and help
Make America Great Again.