Donald Trump's nominee for US navy secretary withdraws

Philip Bilden said he "will not be able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics requirements"

Donald Trump's nominee for US navy secretary withdraws

File photo. USS Gabrielle Giffords. Picture by Brynn Anderson AP/Press Association Images

Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of the US navy has withdrawn from the nomination process.

Philip Bilden - a former military intelligence officer who more recently worked in private equity - cited conflict-of-interest rules as the reason for his withdrawal.

In a statement quoted by CNN, Mr Bilden explained: "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."

US Defence Secretary James Mattis explained that Mr Bilden's withdrawal was "a personal decision driven by privacy concerns and significant challenges he faced in separating himself from his business interests".

Announcing Mr Bilden's nomination in January, The White House said: "After 25 years, Mr Bilden recently retired as a co-founding member and Senior Advisor of HarbourVest Partners, LLC, a leading global private equity investment management firm with institutional assets under management currently in excess of $42 billion."

President Trump praised Mr Bilden's "terrific judgement and top-notch management skills" in the announcement.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had recently denied reports that Mr Bilden was likely to withdraw:

President Trump's choice for army secretary - Vincent Viola - withdrew his name earlier this month.