World

Trump's pick for drug czar withdraws

WASHINGTON The US lawmaker who was President Donald Trump's pick for drug czar withdrew on Tuesday after a report that he spearheaded a Bill that hurt the government's ability to crack down on opioid makers flooding the market with the addictive painkillers.

Mr Trump had pegged Representative Tom Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania, to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as the administration faces an epidemic of opioid overdoses that is killing tens of thousands of Americans annually.

The Washington Post and CBS programme 60 Minutes published an investigation over the weekend that showed Mr Marino had worked to weaken federal efforts to slow the flow of opioid drugs.

The law made it almost impossible for the Drug Enforcement Administration to freeze suspicious narcotics shipments, showed government documents cited by the Post.

Mr Trump tweeted: "Rep. Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar.

"Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!"

Mr Marino worked as a federal prosecutor under Republican former president George W Bush and served on Mr Trump's transition team after he was elected in November last year.

Mr Marino said in a statement he had decided to "remove the distraction my nomination has created to the utterly vital mission of this premier agency".

He defended his role in helping pass the Bill. - REUTERS

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