Philip Bilden withdraws Navy Secretary candidacy

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Donald Trump, US President

US President Donald Trump had nominated Philip Bilden for the post of Navy Secretary, but it turns out that Bilden is concerned about privacy and that’s why he has withdrawn his candidacy.

Bilden withdrew his name from consideration because of privacy concerns and “significant challenges” he faced in separating himself from his business interests. The withdrawal comes a month after he had been officially named for the post. Bilden’s withdrawal is yet another one in the series of similar decisions by other nominees who have their names removed from consideration to serve under Trump.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said in a statement that Bilden, a former military intelligence officer, wrote to him to consider his request to withdraw his nomination.

“Mr Philip Bilden has informed me that he has come to the difficult decision to withdraw from consideration to be secretary of the navy”, Mattis said. Mattis added that he will make a recommendation to Trump for a leader “who can guide our Navy and Marine Corps team as we execute the president’s vision to rebuild our military”.

Bilden, who recently retired from HarbourVest Partners LLC after 25 years, said that he fully supported the president’s agenda. But he realised after an extensive review process 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.”

Bilden said in a statement that he was greatly honoured by Trump’s consideration of him to lead the “committed and capable sailors and marines”.

Previous withdrawals include that of Vincent Viola, a billionaire Wall Street trader, nominated as Army secretary, and labour secretary nominee Andrew Puzder. The withdrawals were marked by concerns over the nominees’ business records. Earlier this month, Michael Flynn resigned from the post of national security adviser after facing accusations of lying about his communications with Russian officials.

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