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In another embarrassment, Trump’s Army Secretary nominee quits

During his presidential transition process, Donald Trump chose New York financier Vincent Viola to serve as his Secretary of the Army. That wasn’t a good idea.

Team Trump didn’t thoroughly scrutinize Viola’s record in advance of nominating him, and officials weren’t fully aware of some conflict-of-interest controversies, so on a Friday afternoon in February, the president’s choice quietly withdrew from consideration.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 5/3/17, 9:58 PM ET

Trump judgment on second pick for Army secretary questioned

Rachel Maddow reports on mounting criticism of Mark Green, Donald Trump’s second try at picking an Army secretary, whose anti-LGBTQ views and peculiar understanding of evolution have come under fire.
Rachel Maddow reports on mounting criticism of Mark Green, Donald Trump’s second try at picking an Army secretary, whose anti-LGBTQ views and peculiar understanding of evolution have come under fire.
Two months later, it’s happened once again. Trump second choice to serve as Secretary of the Army was Mark Green, a Republican state senator from Tennessee, who was running for governor, but who instead decided to join the administration.

At least, that was the idea. Green issued a written statement this afternoon – yes, another Friday afternoon announcement – withdrawing his nomination.
“I am honored that President Trump nominated me for this position. I appreciate his support and confidence in me, as well as that of Secretary Mattis and many others, and their desire to Make America Great Again by preparing our military to face the many challenges in the world for the safety and security of our nation.

“But to meet these challenges, there should be no distractions. And unfortunately due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction.”
And what exactly are the nature of those “misleading attacks”? That would be the truth about Green’s record.

As Rachel noted on the show the other day, Green has quite a colorful record of strange beliefs, including arguing that being transgender is a “disease,” promoting creationism, criticizing public health-care programs for interfering with Christian evangelism, and raising some very strange concerns about Victoria’s Secret catalogs.

As rumors swirled this week that Green was simply too radical to be confirmed, he insisted that the chatter was baseless and that his meetings with senators were going smoothly.

That turned out to be untrue. Green is now out and Trump will need to look for yet another person to serve as Army Secretary.

The question for the White House, meanwhile,  is simple: do Trump’s aides not vet these nominees at all, or does Team Trump complete their due diligence and assume the president’s picks should be confirmed anyway?