Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of the Navy, businessman Philip Bilden, has withdrawn from consideration. He cites concerns over privacy and conflicting business interests as the two factors that most influenced his decision.
According to the AP, Bilden released a statement via the Pentagon explaining that he was unable to fulfill the requirements set by the Office of Ethics without “undue disruption and materially adverse divestment of my family’s private financial interests.”
An intelligence officer in the Army Reserve from 1986 to 1996, Bilden brought global private equity firm HarbourVest Partners LLC to Hong Kong. He retired after 25 years.
Until recently the Pentagon sought to squelch rumors that Bilden would withdraw. Now Defense Secretary Jim Mattis states that he will recommend a replacement to Trump in the next few days.
Vincent Viola, Trump’s selection for Army secretary, also withdrew due to business-related conflicts of interest.