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Trump's Drug Czar Pick Tom Marino Withdraws Following Explosive Report

19 October 2017

The Post reported Sunday that the drug industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, including Marino, pouring more than a million dollars into their election campaigns.

Tom Marino withdrew his name from consideration as drug czar Tuesday following a report that revealed he was involved with legislation that benefited drug distributors.

Rep. Thomas Marino, R-Pennsylvania, has withdrawn his nomination as President Donald Trump's drug czar, Trump tweeted Tuesday, two days after an investigation by The Washington Post and "60 Minutes" detailed his role in passing a law that gutted the government's ability to stop the spread of opioids on America's streets.

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Trump later said on Fox News Radio that Marino told him he had to "take a pass" as to avoid being seen as having a conflict of interest with pharmaceutical companies, CBS News reported.

Trump said on Monday that he would reexamine Marino's nomination in the wake of the report.

Marino refused to talk Monday about published reports that say a law he wrote weakened efforts to block excessive distribution of opioid-based painkillers.

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A day later, Trump announced Marino's withdrawal from consideration. Marino sponsored legislation that effectively made it much more hard for DEA to crack down on suspicious narcotic shipments from drug distribution companies, stripping the agency of its authority, the news outlets reported. "Even today's critics weren't aware of the specific implications", the official said.

"This country and, frankly, the world has a drug problem", Trump said.

'I don't think the president had any knowledge of Congressman Marino's background. It was later signed by President Barack Obama. Also, a new appointee should give Trump a chance to follow through on a suggestion by a presidential panel he commissioned that he declare a national emergency on the topic.

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Almost nine months into his presidency, Trump has been criticized for not taking more substantial actions on his campaign pledge to tackle America's opioid epidemic, which disproportionately affects numerous areas that were key to his victory. "It's a very important step", Trump told a reporter who asked when a declaration would be made.

Trump's Drug Czar Pick Tom Marino Withdraws Following Explosive Report