Andrew Puzder, President Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, abruptly withdrew his nomination Wednesday evening after it became clear that Senate Republicans would not support his bid.
Puzder’s failed nomination is the latest loss for the White House, which is stumbling through a period of turmoil following the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn earlier this week. Puzder is also Trump’s first cabinet nominee to fall.
In a statement, Puzder said he was “honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor,” the Associated Press reports. But his spokesman George Thompson described his boss as a victim of ”an unprecedented smear campaign.”
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A number of issues concerning Puzder turned off the majority-Republican congress, including details that he hired an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper and failed to pay taxes on her until he was nominated. He has also made disparaging remarks about women and his workers in the past as CEP of the parent company that owns fast food companies Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.
His final downfall: his first ex-wife also told “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the 1990s that she had suffered spousal abuse, according to POLITICO. She later recanted the accusations.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer has declined to comment on any possible replacements.