Trump’s pick for Navy secretary withdraws
WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of the Navy withdrew from consideration on Sunday, the second time a Trump nominee to lead one of the armed services bowed out because of government conflict-of-interest rules.
Trump last month nominated Philip Bilden, a private equity executive and former military intelligence officer, to lead the Navy, which the president has pledged he will expand.
In a statement on Sunday, Bilden said that “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.”
The development leaves Trump and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis without nominees to head both the Navy and Army.
Vincent Viola, whom the president had picked to be secretary of the Army, withdrew earlier this month.
In a statement, Mattis said he was disappointed but understood Bilden’s decision. “In the coming days I will make a recommendation to President Trump for a leader who can guide our Navy and Marine Corps team as we execute the president’s vision to rebuild our military,” he said.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed US national security adviser has on Sunday differ from President Donald Trump’s stance saying labels like “radical Islamic terrorism” are not helpful because he said terrorists are “un-Islamic”.
At an all-hands meeting of the National Security Council, Lt Gen HR McMaster said that the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” doesn’t help the US in working with allies to defeat terrorist groups.
The phrase is unhelpful because terrorist organizations like ISIS are un-Islamic, McMaster said.
An administration official acknowledged there is a “genuine difference of opinion” between Trump and McMaster on the use of “radical Islamic terrorism,” but said McMaster is not telling the President he’s wrong, and added it’s not a “major difference.”