President Trump's choice for Army secretary withdrew his nomination on Friday in the face of growing criticism over his remarks about Muslims and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans, the AP reports. Mark Green, a Republican state senator from Tennessee, said in a statement that "false and misleading attacks" against him had turned his nomination into 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," Green said, expressing "deep regret" over the decision. Green is the second Trump nominee for Army secretary to withdraw.
The move to step aside comes after a video began circulating of remarks Green gave in September to a tea party group in Chattanooga. Green, who is opposed to gay marriage, said being transgender is a disease. He urged that a stand be taken against "the indoctrination of Islam" in public schools and also referred to the "Muslim horde" that invaded Constantinople hundreds of years ago. Green's withdrawal underscores the challenges Trump has faced in filling two of the service secretary posts. The president's first pick to be the Army's top civilian, Vincent Viola, dropped out in early February because of financial entanglements, and about three weeks later Philip B. Bilden, the Navy secretary nominee, withdrew for similar reasons.