President Donald Trump’s nominee for Army secretary, businessman Vincent Viola, has withdrawn his name from consideration for the post.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was disappointed but understood and respected Viola’s decision, a Pentagon statement said. Mattis will recommend to Trump another candidate soon, the statement said.
A Trump administration official confirmed last night that Viola had withdrawn. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorised to speak publicly.
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The Military Times reported that Viola said in a statement he was “deeply honored” to be nominated but cited his inability to successfully navigate the confirmation process and Defense Department rules concerning family businesses.
Viola was the founder of several businesses, including the electronic trading firm Virtu Financial. He also owns the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers and is a past chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
A 1977 West Point graduate, Viola trained as an Airborne Ranger infantry officer and served in the 101st Airborne Division. In 2003, he founded and helped fund the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.