President Donald Trump has nominated Richard Spencer, a former financial industry executive and a former Marine Corps captain. (Photo courtesy Center for a New American Security)
It looks as if the second time’s the charm for President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of the Navy.
The Senate Armed Services Committee has set a date — June 22 — for Marine Corps veteran and banker Richard V. Spencer to appear before the committee for a confirmation hearing. While this is typically a rote step in the process, it’s a milestone that three Trump picks for military service secretary never reached.
Spencer was tapped for the post June 3 after months of rumors that placed him as the top candidate for the job. He was Trump’s second nominee for the position after the first, businessman Philip Bilden, withdrew from consideration in late February, citing challenges with divesting his financial interests in order to pass government ethics scrutiny.
Meanwhile, the Army is 0-for-2 with secretary picks.
Trump’s first pick, billionaire Vincent Viola, withdrew in February, citing financial concerns similar to those raised by Bilden. In May, Trump’s second choice for the job, Tennessee state senator and decorated Army veteran Mark Green, withdrew from consideration after critics stoked outrage over his previous political stances on LGBT issues. So far, a new nominee for secretary of the Army has not been named.
Spencer’s own financial disclosure report, a requirement for the confirmation process, was certified by the U.S. Office on Government Ethics on June 9. The form shows 18 different board of directors positions held at private organizations, including the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, where he serves as vice chairman.
The only position Spencer has held in the federal government in the previous 12 months is a membership role on the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, according to the report. It lists $100,000 in income from his role as director of Global Atlantic Financial Group, as well as dividend income from investments in several hundred stocks and bonds, many valued in the millions of dollars.
Spencer, who served in the Marine Corps as an aviator from 1976-1981, is from Wilson, Wyoming. He is an adviser for the Center for a New American Security and has also served on the Department of Defense Business Board.
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