Trump's pick for navy secretary withdraws

President Donald Trump. Photo / AP
President Donald Trump. Photo / AP

US President Donald Trump's pick for secretary of the navy has withdrawn from consideration.

It is the second time a Trump nominee to lead one of the armed services has bowed out because of conflict-of-interest rules.

Trump nominated Philip Bilden, a private equity executive and former intelligence officer, to lead the US Navy, which the President has pledged he will expand.

In a statement, Bilden said "after an extensive review process, I have determined that I will not be able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics requirements without undue disruption and materially adverse divestment of my family's private financial interests".

The development leaves Trump and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis without nominees to head the navy and army.

Vincent Viola, whom the president had picked to be secretary of the army, withdrew earlier in February. In a statement, Mattis said he was disappointed but understood Bilden's decision.

- AAP

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