Obama Pick Withdraws Name from Security Post

by Kelly Chernenkoff & Trish Turner

A source close to the situation tells Fox that Philip Mudd, who was nominated last month by President Obama to be Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security has withdrawn his name from consideration for the post.

Mudd, a former CIA and FBI employee, did not want to be a distraction for the president. It became clear, said the source, that during the confirmation process republicans would have grilled Mudd on his involvement in interrogations of detainees (though what's not clear yet is Mudd’s involvement, if any, in those interrogations).

In a statement, Mudd said, "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."

Additionally, senior democratic congressional sources tell Fox that democrats weren't keen on Mudd's involvement with enhanced interrogation tactics; something many in the party have harshly condemned. There was a danger, they say, that it would look as if they were promoting him, though he is known to be a respected career intelligence officer.

President Obama reluctantly accepted Mudd's decision, "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. 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," says White House Spokesman Nick Shapiro.

For the time being, the post will continue to be headed by Bart Johnson.