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The withdrawal signifies the first casualty of the Trump administration's Cabinet picks, as the Senate was expected to confirm Puzder later in the week. A senior GOP source told CNN that four Republicans would vote against Puzder, and more were considering a no vote. Regardless of who Trump chooses to replace Puzder, it's unlikely the Justice Department will challenge the judge's ruling. Democrats and labor groups who firmly opposed his nomination hailed victory in his nomination withdrawal.

The National Review, a conservative publication, cited his failure to pay the related taxes for his housekeeper as a problem that made him unfit for the role of Secretary of Labor.

Puzder, a fast food chain CEO, has been at the centre of a swirl of controversies, complaints and potential conflicts.

The Puzder withdrawal was the second body blow to the administration in a span of just days: Monday night, retired General Michael Flynn resigned as national security adviser following questions about his contacts with Russian Federation prior to Trump's inauguration.

Trump's announcement came on a day when senators were supposed to be grilling his first choice for the job, fast-food chief executive Andrew Puzder.

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Additionally, Puzder's ex-wife accused him of physical abuse in a 1990 episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show", although she has since retracted the allegations.

"We urge the president to remember his campaign promises to working people and nominate a Labor Secretary who will be a champion for working people and is committed to the mission of the Department of Labor".

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said United States workers "can breathe a sigh of relief" after Puzder's announcement.

Puzder's decision to withdraw is yet another setback for the White House still grappling with the fallout from the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn. Puzder went through a messy divorce and his ex-wife made allegations of domestic abuse that were later recanted.

  • Alfonso Moody