It seems President Donald Trump’s nominees with a background in armed forces are dropping like flies.
Trump’s pick for the secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden, has withdrawn his name from consideration, just a week after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer asserted there was no chance he would drop out.
Bilden, a former military intelligence officer who ran the Hong Kong branch of a private equity firm, informed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that he did not want to seek confirmation.
In a statement, Bilden said that although he “fully” supported Trump’s agenda, “After an extensive review process, I have determined that I will not be able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics requirements without undue disruption and materially adverse divestment of my family’s private financial interests.”
He did not elaborate upon his statement.
Mattis called Bilden’s decision “disappointing” but said he “respects” it saying it was “a personal decision driven by privacy concerns and significant challenges he faced in separating himself from his business interests.”
A week ago, Spicer refuted a report by CBS News’ Major Garrett that said Bilden was going to withdraw his consideration were “wrong.”
“Just spoke with him and he is 100% committed to being the next SECNAV pending Senate confirm,” Spicer wrote.
Those people would be wrong. Just spoke with him and he is 100% commited to being the next SECNAV pending Senate confirm. https://t.co/AfRZfQQCzG— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) February 18, 2017
People on social media are now bashing the White House and praising Bilden for getting out while he could.
2/18: Sean Spicer rejects source saying that Philip Bilden planned to withdraw from consideration— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) February 27, 2017
2/26: Bilden withdraws from consideration pic.twitter.com/skdH7yXQRw
"Philip Bilden" learned Trump and Bannon goal is to destroy Democracy! He refused to become a Traitor! pic.twitter.com/tW9czxpyYK— Blucebdcer (@moderate2severe) February 27, 2017
Nominee for Navy Secretary, Philip Bilden is smart enough not to board an already sinking ship! More will either jump or refuse to board.— Dia Wright (@PeaceBeStill702) February 27, 2017
This is not the first time people Trump has tapped for government jobs have stepped down.
On Feb. 3, Vincent Viola, Trump’s nominee for secretary of Army, withdrew his nomination citing conflict of interest.
On Feb. 16, Ret. Vice Admiral Robert Harward, who was set to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser, also decided to call it quits citing “financial and family issues.”
However, according to CNN’s Jake Tapper, a friend of Harward stated the former vice admiral did not want to be stuck in a “s*** sandwich.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Mike Segar