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Brennan withdraws name for top spy

From NBC's Robert Windrem
In a letter to President-elect Obama, John Brennan has asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration as CIA director.

Video: President-elect Barack Obama's top advisor in intelligence has taken his name out of the running for any position with the Obama White House. NBC's John Yang reports.

Brennan was thought to be the leading candidate for the job. He was the former chief of staff to then-CIA Director George Tenet, former executive assistant to Tenet and former station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Reporters and others were asking questions about what role Brennan played in the decision to "torture" high value targets. (Full letter here.)

NBC's Savannah Guthrie adds this statement from Obama transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter:

"John Brennan has served our nation with honor and is a man of talent and integrity. The President-elect accepts his decision to withdraw from consideration for a position in the intelligence community but he is grateful for John's contining assistance as a valuable member of our transition team. "