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.
(Reporting by Warren Strobel; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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