President Trump's nominee for Army secretary withdrew amid a storm of criticism from Democrats and civil rights groups last month and now he says he wants to return to D.C., to drain the swamp.
Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green released a statement Friday expressing an interest in running for Congress in next year's midterm elections, saying the experience of losing the nomination over his devout Christian politics made him understand "the real fight" is in the nation's capital.
"I will instead look to Washington D.C., to help serve our country and provide real help to President Trump," Green said. "Several options exist in the near future to do this and I will continue discussions with people around the state and Washington as I find the best path of service."
The announcement did not provide any specifics on which race Green is eyeing but Sen. Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is up for re-election and all nine House seats will be on the midterm ballot.
Green, a doctor and former Army Ranger, sparked weeks of controversy with his past comments on gay marriage, transgender rights and Islam. A growing cacophony from Democrats including top leadership and liberal-leaning advocacy groups eventually derailed his nomination, the second Trump made for Army secretary.
"I saw firsthand what President Trump calls the swamp over the past few months, and what I saw was shocking," he said Friday.
The son of a southern Baptist pastor, Green never shied away from his religious views and their role in his politics, often quoting scripture. But he charged the Left and the media with taking his comments out of context to sabotage his nomination.
"Very clearly from our experience, the truth no longer matters. Their bold face lies about my statements, and intentional twisting of words advanced with little pressure to stop it," he said. "They collude with the media to cast conservatives as hateful, stingy and meanwhile they partner with our enemies to weaken the nation."
Green said in an interview this week that he was barred from speaking out publicly while he was under consideration.
Trump has not announced a new nominee to be the top civilian leader of the country's largest military branch.