Sun, May 07, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Army secretary nominee withdraws amid criticism

AP, WASHINGTON

US President Donald Trump’s choice for US Army secretary on Friday withdrew his nomination in the face of growing criticism over his remarks about Muslims and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

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 a remarks Green gave in September last year to a Tea Party group in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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.

Several US Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, declared they would oppose Green’s nomination over what they said were intolerant and disturbing views.

Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth, a combat veteran who lost her legs and partial use of her right arm during the Iraq war, on Friday said in a statement that Green was not fit to lead the service.

Schumer welcomed Green’s move to step aside.

“Mark Green’s decision to withdraw his name from consideration as army secretary is good news for all Americans, especially those who were personally vilified by his disparaging comments directed toward the LGBT community, Muslim community, Latino community and more,” he said in a statement.

Also on Friday, a coalition of 41 organizations led by the Human Rights Campaign called on the leaders of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services to reject Green’s nomination.

The letter to senators John McCain and Jack Reed said Green’s “shameful rhetoric” is at odds with the army’s core values and would affect recruiting.

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