Donald Trump’s friend, Vincent Viola, has withdrawn his nomination for the United States Secretary of the Army. The news, which broke just minutes ago, is a surprise to many and is seen as a big blow to the Trump administration that is already having a terrible night after a Seattle judge struck down his Muslim or immigration ban. In a brief statement, Mr. Viola said that he no longer wants the job because he has come to the conclusion that he is unable to dissociate himself from his many business ventures.
Indeed, Mr. Viola, who has a net worth of $1.78 billion, is the owner of the Florida Panthers, a hockey team, and is the founder and chairman of Virtu Financial. The company, which is described as the largest high-frequency trading and market making firms, announced in 2015 that it had a revenue of almost $800 million.
Mr. Viola probably removed himself from consideration because he is not interested in having his finances under the microscope during the forthcoming confirmation process in the Senate. A statement issued by Mr. Viola’s team read: “Mr. Viola has informed President Trump that he will be unable to accept his nomination to serve as Secretary of the Army as the challenges of separating Mr. Viola from the organizations that he has built over the last thirty-five years have proven insurmountable.”
It continued: “I am deeply honored to have been considered for this post and appreciate the confidence President Trump showed in me. I offer my continued support for President Trump and his administration, and look forward to re-doubling my efforts to support the Army and its veterans as a private citizen.”
Insiders say that along with not wanting to disclose information on his wealth, the New York businessman bowed out because he is not liked by Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s secretary of defense.
Mattis was so angry that Viola, who served with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell for several years, was picked without his opinion that he threatened to leave the administration.