During his presidential transition process, Donald Trump chose New York financier Vincent Viola to serve as his secretary of the Army. That didn’t go well: The Republican’s team failed to properly vet Viola, and the nomination quickly collapsed.
Trump’s second choice was Mark Green — at the time, a GOP state senator in Tennessee — whose nomination also ran into trouble soon after. As the political world soon learned, Green had compiled 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 strange concerns about Victoria’s Secret catalogs.
A Slate report added that Green also “agreed with a questioner that President Obama is not a citizen and he refused to answer whether the former president is really a Muslim.”
As this information came to light, even some Senate Republicans raised concerns about his nomination, deeming the Tennessean a bit too radical to be confirmed, and on a Friday afternoon in May 2017, Green quietly withdrew from consideration.
Whatever happened to that guy? As it turns out, he’s the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Bloomberg Government reported this week:
A Tennessee congressman backed by conservative border hawks is set to lead the Homeland Security Committee during this congressional session. House Republican leaders on Monday nominated Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) as chairman of the panel.
A Washington Post report added that the decision to elevate Green to chairman was seen as part of an effort to “appease requests by the staunchly conservative Freedom Caucus,” of which the Tennessean is a member.
If Green’s name sounds familiar for more recent reasons, in 2020 the far-right congressman alerted the Trump White House to a segment from a conservative media outlet in which operative Dick Morris insisted that legislators in GOP-led states had the power to “declare” Trump the winner, despite the election results
Soon after, Green signed onto a brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and on Jan. 6, the Republican lawmaker was one of too many GOP members to vote against certifying the results of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
He is, in other words, a curious choice to lead the House Homeland Security Committee, though Green does serve as a reminder of the kind of politics that Americans can expect from the Republican-led House over the next couple of years.