Defense

No. 2 House Dem to Trump: Withdraw Army secretary nominee

The No. 2 Democrat in the House is calling on President Trump to withdraw his nominee for Army secretary, joining an increasing chorus of opposition largely focused on Mark Green’s LGBT record.

“I strongly urge President Trump to withdraw Mark Green as his nominee for Army secretary,” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) said in a statement Monday. “The civilian leaders the president selects to oversee our military set the tone for the men and women of our Armed Forces and how they are expected to behave.

“Appointing someone with a clear record of homophobia and transphobia, who has made disgusting statements demeaning toward groups of Americans, would send the absolute wrong signal about the values for which our military service members are risking their lives.”

{mosads}As a member of the House, Hoyer does not have a vote on Green. But his statement shows the increasing pressure against the nomination.

LGBT groups have mounted a fierce opposition to Green over past comments and his record as a Tennessee state senator.

For example, Green said that “transgender is a disease” at a speech last year to the Chattanooga Tea Party. And in an interview on an online radio show, Green cited a Bible verse that he says calls on the government to “crush evil” to explain his opposition to transgender rights and Syrian refugees.

Muslim groups have also opposed his nomination. In the same Tea Party speech, Green agreed with a questioner who said, “We need to take a stand on the indoctrination of Islam in our public schools.”

Green, whose 20-year Army career included being the first person to interrogate Saddam Hussein after his capture in 2003, has defended himself by saying the “radical left” is “blatantly falsifying” his past statements to “paint [him] as a hater.”

In his Monday statement, Hoyer questioned the message Green’s appointment would send to LGBT troops and the rest of the world.

“What message would such an individual’s appointment send to the courageous LGBT Americans proud to serve their nation in uniform and who are doing so every day with distinction?” he asked. “What kind of message would it send to the world, particularly nations like Russia where LGBT individuals are routinely repressed? Our military cannot be strong unless its values are strong and adhere to the vision of inclusion and the equal opportunity to serve.”

Defense