Trump’s Navy Secretary Nominee Withdraws

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Washington: Donald Trump’s choice to be secretary of the navy has withdrawn from consideration for the post, citing concerns about privacy and separating himself from his business interests.

The nominee, Philip Bilden, was an intelligence officer in the army reserve from 1986 to 1996. He relocated to Hong Kong to set up an Asian presence for HarbourVest Partners, a global private equity management firm. He recently retired from HarbourVest Partners after 25 years.

Bilden is the second Trump nominee for a post overseeing the military to withdraw before confirmation.

Earlier this month, Vincent Viola, a West Point graduate and former airborne officer, withdrew from consideration to be secretary of the army. The founder of several businesses, including the electronic trading firm Virtu Financial, he also owns the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers and is a past chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Viola cited his inability to successfully navigate the confirmation process and defense department rules concerning family businesses. The post remains unfilled.

Reports of Bilden’s withdrawal had been circulating for days but were denied by the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, who said he was 100% committed to the role.

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