President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the US Army abruptly withdrew his name from consideration on Friday night, citing business concerns, the Military Times first reported.
Vincent Viola, the founder of digital stock trading firm Virtu Financial and owner of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, said he was "deeply honored" to be nominated but said it would be difficult for him to circumvent strict Defense Department rules.
“I appreciate the confidence President Trump showed in me,” he said. “I offer my continued support for President Trump and his administration, and look forward to redoubling my efforts to support the Army and its veterans as private citizens.”
Sources close to the matter said that Viola was looking for ways to divest from his business ties in order to be confirmed to the post, including NHL ownership, but even that wouldn't meet the Pentagon's standards.
The unexpected withdrawal is the second blow to the Trump administration on Friday night. Earlier, a federal judge in Seattle issued an immediate halt to Trump's executive order on immigration nationwide. The White House said that the Department of Justice will file an emergency stay to the "outrageous" order.