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(CNN) - Maj. Gen. Robert Harding said Friday that, "with deep regret," he has withdrawn his name from nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration.
"This was a great honor, and I felt that I could bring some leadership, vision and intelligence expertise to that position," he said in a statement. "Ultimately, my goal was to improve the security of our nation's transportation systems. However, I feel that the distractions caused by my work as a defense contractor would not be good for this administration nor for the Department of Homeland Security."
The TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
White House Spokesman Nicholas Shapiro noted that Harding has more than 35 years of military and intelligence experience, and added, "The President is disappointed in this outcome but remains confident in the solid team of professionals at TSA."
At a hearing on Wednesday, Harding acknowledged "making mistakes" when a company he formed overbilled the government in 2004.