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Kerik: White House Supportive of His Decision to Withdraw


President Bush's pick for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security says the White House was extremely supportive of his decision to withdraw from consideration for the post.

Bernard Kerik made the comment to reporters outside his home in New Jersey Saturday.

He said he informed the White House Friday of the decision to withdraw after uncovering tax and immigration problems related to a woman who was his family's housekeeper and nanny.

President Bush nominated Mr. Kerik last week to succeed Tom Ridge.

Some analysts said he lacked the skills necessary to lead the 180,000-employee agency. They also questioned his links to the Taser International stun gun company that earned him millions of dollars through stock options.

Mr. Kerik once served as New York City police commissioner under New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The former mayor today described Mr. Kerik as a highly qualified candidate who made a mistake.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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