June 5th, 2009
04:57 PM ET
14 years ago

Mudd withdraws from consideration amid interrogation questions

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Philip Mudd has withdrawn from consideration as undersecretary of intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, a decision that follows new questions over his knowledge of the CIA's controversial interrogation programs during the Bush administration.

"The President believes that Phil Mudd would have been an excellent Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis but understands his personal decision and the choice he has made," said White House spokesman Nick Shapiro in a Friday afternoon statement. "It is with sadness and regret that the President accepted Phil's withdrawal from consideration as Phil once again demonstrated his duty to country above all things."

Mudd was deputy director of the Office of Terrorism Analysis at the CIA during the Bush administration. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said earlier this week that her staff was following up on news reports that suggested Mudd was aware of the agency's use of aggressive interrogation techniques during the Bush era.

"Today I am announcing that I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration to be the Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis," said Mudd, in a statement released by the White House.

"I know that this position will require the full cooperation with Congress and I believe that if I continue to move forward I will become a distraction to the President and his vital agenda. I would like to thank the President for the honor of being considered and I extend my good wishes to the exceptional men and women of the Intel and Analysis office; these professionals work hard every day to analyze and share information with state, local and federal law enforcement agencies critical to the security of the United States."

White House Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan, who was originally President Obama's pick to be CIA director, withdrew from consideration for that post before confirmation hearings several months ago amid similar questions about his own knowledge of detention and interrogation policies during the Bush administration.

DHS assistant secretary of public affairs Sean Smith said Friday that the Office of Intelligence and Analysis would continue to be guided on an interim basis by Bart Johnson. No permanent replacement has been named.

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand and Adam Levine contributed this report

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. josh

    I think it's great that he dropped out. Wish Nancy Pelosi would follow his example.

    June 5, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. munchmom

    Another one bites the dust....

    June 5, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    So even though he might have had knowlege of the torture, Obama still ""believes that Phil Mudd would have been an excellent Undersecretary"

    I lose track – is Obama for or against the whole torture thing?

    knew about it – OK / not OK
    photos release – OK / not OK

    Politics as Usual – Question Authority!

    June 5, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Rob

    He shouldn't have done it. Nancy's telling everyone that the CIA lied to her, I'm sure they lied to him as well

    June 5, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Dan

    Mudd is probably guility of something

    June 5, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. J.Crobuzon

    So Mudd is a washout? Cool. Seriously, good for him; I know Obama is trying to bring these dirty-handed crooks back into the mainstream of American politics, but I can't trust any Republican after the past eight years. They aren't loyal – just look at their comments!

    June 5, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. J.Crobuzon

    Rob, he was a 'publican then. They had no need to lie to him, whether or not they lied to Pelosi.

    June 5, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Lesley Anne

    It's interesting that on one side of the coin, the former Bush VP and also his daughter are speaking publicly about these policies claiming that they were good, solid, valuable tools while at the same time others who actually carried out the procedures lost their jobs or spent time in jail or are being drummed out of jobs in the new administration because of their knowledge about these policies during the Bush administration. This is hypocrisy. Why is Cheney being given so much positive media attention for his "enhanced interrogation" tour and being applauded in some circles while others are dropping like flies.

    June 5, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Laura See

    OMG! I'm so impressed, maybe there is one person in our Administration in D.C. that actually has integrity!? Or there's even more skeletons in that closet?

    June 5, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Limbaugh is a Liberal

    So a republican senator torpedos a fellow republican's nomination just because he was Obama's pick. Congratulations for stupidity.

    June 5, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Stay and fight man. I don't trust the CIA any more than I trust Bush and Cheney.

    June 5, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. gae

    Torture is a war crime. Prosecute them, don't nominate them!

    June 5, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Hopeful Optimist

    Again, I will say it. I am a Liberal Democrat, and I think that using torture as a means to an end is morally wrong. BUT, I realize that not everyone agrees with me on that , and I don't think that it should be a litmus test to determine if someone is/is not qualified for certain jobs. I will put it another way. Bill Clinton was a womanizer and cheated on his wife at the drop of a hat. But I thought he was a hell of a good president.

    Its called Common Sense, folks. You need for certain people who man certain jobs to sometimes have a bit of a rough edge to them. I know I was that way when I served in the military, and I still adhere to that belief.

    June 5, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. Jon

    J.Crobuzon, I am a conservative loyal to the constitution. Are you? Obama is not.

    June 5, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Butch Dillon

    Maybe Mudd's next move, to my delight, could be suicide.

    June 5, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Tom

    Nancy isn't saying they lied anymore, when it got too hot for her she refused to talk about the alleged lies.

    June 5, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. JK Ashburn, VA

    Too bad prior knowledge of interrogation policy is not disqualifying the idiots in Congress from their jobs. They'd rather demagogue against what they all knew was happening. Most members of Congress of hypocrits and some are outright criminal liars.

    June 5, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Randy

    Obama’s approach to Make Peace not War is the most sensible approach.

    Criminals Bush and Cheney should be in Jail.

    Prosecute them for War Crimes.

    Prosecute Bush and Cheney for Deaths of 4300 US Troops and 100,000 Iraqi Civilians.

    Go Obama Go.

    Jail Bush.

    June 5, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. tim

    Ive been reading the past few stories on here, and I can say that for the most part, it sounds like the world is full of haters.

    If you do not like you life or the country, move to another country. Do us supporters a favor and leave.

    June 5, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Jon in CA

    @ Hopeful Optimist,

    Be Careful! With sensible views and intellectual honesty you display civil discourse could break out on CNN's ticker!

    June 5, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. JAY JOHN


    June 5, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. Melissa

    Good. He needs to be held accountable for his actions.

    June 5, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  23. Get Serious!

    To Butch Dillon – you should be ashamed of yourself! Unfortunately, I don't think you have the brains or conscience to know what that means. Why would you be delighted in someone else committing suicide? You really should seek mental help.

    June 5, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Had It

    I think the Titanic (called we the people) are seeing the tip of the iceberg on just what has been going on in DC for years.

    It will be so much better when it is ALL brought out and the rotten ones thrown away. NO MATTER WHICH PARTY OR OFFICE. Nothing can survive in this poison.

    June 5, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. C Spurgeon

    Cmon lets get on with the future instead of all this leftover stuff. Lets move on the medical plan. Lets move on the economy.Term Limits for congress are a must have for this country to move forward.

    June 5, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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