Viola withdraws himself from consideration for secretary of Army

President Trump tapped Viola in mid-December

US President Donald Trump's choice for Army secretary has withdrawn his name from consideration after running into obstacles untangling himself from his business interests, US media reported Saturday.

"I am deeply honored to have been considered for this post, and appreciate the confidence President Trump showed in me", said Viola in a statement.

Viola, a former West Point graduate who bought the National Hockey League club in 2013, reportedly pulled his name from consideration after believing that his business ties would prove too great to navigate around the confirmation process. On Friday, Viola announced that he would be withdrawing his name from the nomination, according to ABC News.

Trump picked Viola in December and said at the time, "Vinnie has proved throughout his life that he knows how to be a leader and deliver major results in the face of any challenge".


Viola, who is worth an estimated $1.8 billion, was reportedly distraught to give up on serving as Army Secretary, but was unable to sell his holdings without harming the companies he helped build.

The tycoon has invited an unusual number of wealthy businessmen to join his administration despite the multiple conflicts of interest such appointments could potentially create.

In 2013, Viola bought the Florida Panthers NHL team for $160 million.

Viola, a Brooklyn native, served in the 101st Airborne Division during Vietnam. He also formerly served as chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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