Trump's pick for US Navy secretary withdraws


WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's pick for secretary of the Navy withdrew from consideration on Sunday, the second time a Trump nominee to lead one of the armed services bowed out because of government conflict-of-interest rules.

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

In a statement on Sunday, Bilden said that "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."

Check out photos from Trump's CPAC speech

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President Trump's CPAC address
U.S. President Donald Trump waves to supporters after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Oxon Hill in Maryland, U.S., February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
People cheer as US President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, on February 24, 2017. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S. February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump takes the stage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S. February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump takes the stage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S. February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People cheer as US President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, on February 24, 2017. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. U.S., February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump gives his supporters a thumbs up he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Oxon Hill in Maryland, U.S., February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 24: Supporters cheer as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center February 24, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. Hosted by the American Conservative Union, CPAC is an annual gathering of right wing politicians, commentators and their supporters. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 24: A supporter wearing patriotic clothing listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center February 24, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. Hosted by the American Conservative Union, CPAC is an annual gathering of right wing politicians, commentators and their supporters. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. It's Trump's party now, but activists at a gathering of conservatives outside Washington this week are still struggling over whether to fully embrace the president's vision for what it means to be a Republican. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg
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The development leaves Trump and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis without nominees to head both the Navy and Army.

Vincent Viola, whom the president had picked to be secretary of the Army, withdrew earlier this month.

In a statement, Mattis said he was disappointed but understood Bilden's decision. "In the coming days I will make a recommendation to President Trump for a leader who can guide our Navy and Marine Corps team as we execute the president's vision to rebuild our military," he said.

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