President Trump’s pick for Army secretary had to take a pass on the prestigious position due to the difficulty of distancing himself from his many holdings as a billionaire entrepreneur.
Vincent Viola, who is a West Point graduate and a retired Army Major, started up an electronic trading firm called Virtu Financial and also owns a hockey team called the Florida Panthers.
According to Forbes Magazine, Viola’s company is headquartered in Hong Kong and is worth an estimated $2.4 billion and his own wealth is estimated at $1.8 billion, putting him in the top 400 of America’s wealthiest people.
As Army secretary, Viola would have needed to sell off some of his business holdings to avoid conflicts of interest but found the task of removing himself from companies he spent the last 35 years creating to be an impossible one.
Viola told The Military Times, “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.”
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