WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for Army secretary has withdrawn his name from consideration, citing his inability to get around Defense Department rules concerning his family businesses.
The Military Times reported Vincent Viola had issued a statement he was “deeply honored” to be nominated, but would not successfully navigate the confirmation process.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he is “disappointed but understands and respects” Viola’s decision. A Defense Department statement said “The Secretary will recommend to the President another candidate soon.”
Viola is an Army veteran and founder of a high-speed trading firm. He is a former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange and is a leader in electronic trading. Along with Virtu CEO Douglas Cifu, he bought the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League in 2013.
Viola is a 1977 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who trained as an Airborne Ranger infantry officer and served in the 101st Airborne Division. Fourteen years ago, he founded and helped fund the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.