May 05, 2017

Trump's Army secretary pick withdraws shortly after Duckworth joins critics

Source: Chicago Tribune


U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Friday joined the growing Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump's Army secretary nominee, and he withdrew from consideration later in the day as criticism continued to intensify.

Mark Green stepped aside amid condemnation of his remarks about LGBT Americans and Muslims, making him the second Trump nominee for Army secretary to withdraw.

Green said in a statement that "false and misleading attacks" against him have made his nomination a distraction. He said his life of public service and Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized for political gain.

Earlier Friday, Duckworth said in a statement that the Senate confirming Green to the Army post "would send the wrong message to brave and selfless Americans who simply wish to serve their nation." In opposing Green, Duckworth joined other Democrats who have denounced him.

"Though I respect Dr. Green's record of service, he is not fit to lead the Army and made the right decision to withdraw his name from consideration," Duckworth, who lost both legs in combat during the Iraq War, said after Green stepped aside.

Green is a physician and Tennessee state senator who graduated from West Point and received the Bronze Star and other awards during three combat tours in the Middle East, the White House said last month.

Earlier this week, another Illinois lawmaker with military experience had endorsed him for the spot.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Channahon threw his support behind Green, signing a letter with 10 other House Republicans sent this week to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Kinzinger is a pilot in the Air National Guard.

Confirming Green for the post "will only enhance America's war fighting capability and build on the mutual trust that exists between soldiers and their leaders," the letter reads.

By:  Katherine Skiba