Tom Marino Withdraws From Drug Czar Consideration

Trump pulls back nomination after scrutiny into Marino’s ties to drug distributors.

Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.)Bill Clark/Roll Call/AP

President Trump announced on Tuesday morning that Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), who had been nominated to be the nation’s drug czar, is withdrawing his name from consideration. The news comes days after reports that Marino co-sponsored legislation that weakened the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to crack down on drug distributors that helped fuel the opioid epidemic. 

Several members of congress called for Marino’s withdrawal after an investigation published Sunday by the Washington Post and “60 Minutes” detailed Marino’s involvement in steering the legislation, entitled the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act. Mother Jones also detailed his role in spearheading the legislation, as well as his substantial campaign contributions from drug distributors, last week

Trump announced Monday that he would declare the opioid epidemic to be a national emergency—something he’s promised to do since August.  “We are going to be doing that next week,” he said in an impromptu Rose Garden press conference on Monday. “To get to that step, a lot of work has to be done, and it’s time-consuming work. We’re going to be doing it next week.”

Asked at the same press conference about the media reports on Marino, Trump said, “We’re going to be looking into Tom.”