President Trump's ex-pick for Army secretary said he withdrew his name from consideration last month because his nomination was blocked by a single senator.
Tennessee State Sen. Mark Green told the Tennessee Star he believed the hold by an unnamed Democratic senator would have kept the service without a top civilian leader for months or longer.
"The thought that the president would not have his chosen appointee on the ground leading the Army and that our soldiers would be left without a secretary who could advocate for them and secure the resources they need to do their jobs safely and successfully, [it] shifted the process from being about the needs of the Army to being about me," Green told the site.
Green — a former Army Ranger, special operations medic and devout Christian — withdrew his nomination May 5 following weeks of criticism from Democrats on Capitol Hill and liberal rights groups over his past comments on gay marriage, transgender rights and Islam.
"Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain," Green said in a statement released the day he withdrew.
He was the second Trump Army secretary nominee to withdraw. An earlier candidate, Vincent Viola, dropped out over financial requirements.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was among the Senate Democrats who had called on Green to withdraw and said at the time his departure "is good news for all Americans."
But even Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he was concerned about Green's past political comments as a state senator.
Trump has yet to nominate another person to be the civilian leader of the largest branch of the armed services.