Rep. Marino Issues Statement After Withdrawing Name from Drug Czar Nomination

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WILLIAMSPORT -- President Donald Trump says Congressman Tom Marino has pulled his name from consideration to be the national drug czar. It comes after Marino was a focus in a scathing report on opioid oversight.

President Trump said on a radio broadcast Tuesday morning that the congressman from Lycoming County wants to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

We wanted to hear an explanation from the congressman himself.

We've reached out to Congressman Marino several different ways, even stopping by his home and office in the Williamsport area, but again, he was nowhere to be found.

Just two days after a highly critical CBS 60 Minutes and Washington Post report aired, President Donald Trump tweeted that Congressman Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican, has withdrawn his name from consideration to become the nation's next drug czar.

"I think that's probably a good thing to do in this situation until all the facts are revealed about this bill," Maddi Dunlap.

The report that aired on 60 Minutes on Sunday revealed the Republican congressman from Lycoming County co-sponsored a bill that may have made the opioid epidemic worse.

Marino's bill limits the way the nation's drug enforcement agency (DEA) can stop large shipments of legal opiates.

For the second day, Newswatch 16 made calls to Marino's Washington office and stopped by the one in Williamsport looking for answers.

This time, workers wouldn't even tell us anything and Mr. Marino is still nowhere to be found.

"I think Mr. Marino has a lot to answer for. People have tried to reach out to him before to have town hall meetings and he won't come out. That's a problem," Dunlap said.

"I kind of ignored it. I know him. I know his family personally, and I respect him as a congressman and a person so I still stand with Tom Marino," said Amanda Hoover.

In Williamsport in Marino's district, constituents have polarizing opinions about their congressman. However, it seems everyone can agree on one thing: the opioid epidemic is real and there needs to be a change.

"I think they are coming after Tom Marino and it's not all him," Hoover said.

"We have such huge problem here. It's huge and we've been fighting on so many levels and to think that somebody in a great position who could be a helper may have been doing the opposite, it's sickening," Dunlap added.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Marino issued the following statement:

“Today I informed President Donald Trump of my intent to withdraw my name from any further consideration to lead ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy).

“As a former prosecutor who has dedicated my life to aggressive and faithful enforcement of our laws, I have reached the difficult decision that the best course of action is to remove the distraction my nomination has created to the utterly vital mission of this premier agency.

“At the same time, given my lifelong devotion to law enforcement, I insist on correcting the record regarding the false accusations and unfair reporting to which I have been subjected.

“I’m proud of my work on the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016, which passed with unanimous consent in the House and Senate, unopposed by the DEA and was signed into law by President Obama.  This landmark legislation will help to facilitate a balanced solution for ensuring those who genuinely needed access to certain medications were able to do so, while also empowering the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to enforce the law and prevent the sale and abuse of prescription drugs.

“Given these facts and the importance of this legislation, find it sad and disheartening that the news media have left behind any concept of balanced reporting and credited conspiracy theories from individuals seeking to avert blame from their own failures to address the opioid crisis that proliferated during their tenure. Specifically, I cannot allow false allegations made by a former DEA employee, who resigned from the agency.  He was the subject of a professional conduct investigation and his assertions may be motivated by financial self-interest, to overshadow the real problems with prescription drug abuse in this country.

“I will continue to support President Trump in his mission to get the people’s government back to working in their best interests – not those who seek to maintain the status quo.

“I look forward to remaining in service to the people of Pennsylvania’s Tenth Congressional District and continuing my long record of championing solutions to better equip law enforcement to combat drugs.”


  • Lord Chesterfield

    If people believe this is an isolated incident your very mistaken. This is how your government works when citizens allow themselves to be distracted by frivolous issues. Your elected officials love nothing better than a national crisis generated by kneeling sports professionals to camouflage real issues that directly affect the quality of life of this country’s citizens for generations. Crap story after crap story is generated by the media and when something relevant makes the news people make fools of themselves taking political sides. The name Tom Marino is nothing but a name. A variable. Like x or y in algebra. Its the status quo. This is how your government works citizens! Without your due diligence towards civic duty, your the problem.

  • Mike

    I stand with Tom. Anyone that knows how Congress works can’t possibly blame one individual for any bill. The leadership bring bills up for a vote. Where is the term limit bill that Tom sponsored? I’ll tell you. Shelved by leadership.

    • get real

      Term limits?? Actions speak louder than words. He’s currently in his third term and likely he’ll keep running (and worse the uninformed sheep will vote for him and complain about prescription drug prices at the same time). Give me a break.

    • Lord Chesterfield

      If you followed the actually story before it broke it is about lobbyists, money and votes. Regardless of Marino’s spin he voted for it. He got money from the drug industry for that vote. That’s business as usual. Anybody that acts like this is weird should go back to posting about football players that kneel. You obviously never heard of C-span. Its available and you can watch the crap that is reported months sometimes years before it makes the news. Lobbyists are no mystery. Much of the moneys donated to your elected officials is publicly available, but football, baseball, nascar or whatever distraction your prefer provides you with much more instant gratification. When I see people annoyed over issues like this its amusing to me. You should have known. You’ve neglected your civic duties and failed to maintain due diligence and your employees (yes elected officials are your employees) are destroying the business! And you deserve it!

  • George

    “At the same time, given my lifelong devotion to law enforcement, I insist on correcting the record regarding the false accusations and unfair reporting to which I have been subjected.”
    Really MARINO??? Your devotion went very wrong when using law enforcement and others to your advantage. NOT all backed you. The explosive true story, fingered by YOU, will expose others. The story that Tom Marino, doesn’t want out. He doesn’t know whether the victim KNEW before. Or after. But, someone does…..

    • George

      By major Multi-Award Winning Producers/Directors. Love their work in Television, Theaters, Major News Reporting-Television, and Major Film. Read the book, Marino. The. Truth. Will. Come. Out.

    • JessicaInWilliamsport

      I couldn’t care less about his connection to this *bill* — he’s got so many skeletons in his closet that should and would prevent him from being a “drug czar”, it’s a good thing he did step down. Otherwise he’d have been a huge embarrassment…

  • shert8

    Why isn’t anyone talking about how all of Congress voted for a law they didnt read! And now in hypocritical fashion they moan and complain about Marino without mentioning they supported the bill and Obama signed it.

  • Mary

    I stand by Marino. This is just a false accusation to throw mud at a good man because of his connection to Trump. If the Bill was so bad to begin with the DEA would have protested initially and blame should go on ALL the House and Senate for passing it unanimously and for OBAMA for signing it. Think about that. THE HOUSE, SENATE AND OBAMA SIGNED IT. But if it’s flawed it’s Marino’s fault? BALONEY!!!

  • Dennis Fausey

    This guy is a Bum unsolved murder cases in Williamsport ! and a few he screwed up too. Casey HAHAHAH the Casey familey is a buch of Greedy Lying Bastards P E R I O D. How did daddy pass his physical for reelection then end up weeks later on his death bed ? oh then kill somebody & steal his heart !

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