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President Donald Trump speaks alongside Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (R) during a meeting about the federal budget in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, February 22, 2017.
Jim Donovan is dropping out as President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as deputy Treasury secretary.
The Goldman Sachs executive, nominated in March to serve as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s No. 2, informed the White House this week that he could not take the job due to family concerns. He was expected to play a critical role in helping shape the administration’s tax reform policy through Capitol Hill.
“I am deeply honored by President Trump’s decision to nominate me as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury,” Donovan said in a statement. “However, at this time I want to focus on my family, and I can no longer accept it. I hope to be able to serve this administration in the future and fully support President Trump and Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s ongoing work to reform the tax system and grow the U.S. economy.”
Donovan’s departure will come as the administration struggles to push the focus back to its major policy initiatives and away from a series of revelations about the administration and Russia.
“Secretary Mnuchin offers Jim his support and friendship as he focuses his attention on his family,” Treasury spokesman Tony Sayegh said in a statement Friday. “Jim has been an enormous asset to the department helping recruit and fill many of the senior jobs at Treasury. He appreciates Jim’s continued support of the President and his administration.”
Donovan, a Goldman partner and managing director, is close to Mitt Romney and served as one of the 2012 GOP nominee’s top fundraisers. He was also a top fundraiser and economic adviser for Jeb Bush in the 2016 campaign. He joined Goldman in 1993 and covered major clients in both investment banking and investment management.
—Ben White is Politico’s chief economic correspondent and a CNBC contributor. He also authors the daily tip sheet Politico Morning Money [politico.com/morningmoney]. Follow him on Twitter @morningmoneyben.