Bush Cabinet Process

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The White House says it's still confident of the way it screens its Cabinet nominees, despite the aborted nomination of Bernard Kerik to be homeland security chief.

Kerik withdrew his name Friday after informing the White House he did not pay required taxes for his family's nanny, and that she may have been in the country illegally.

However, Press Secretary Scott McClellan says Kerik admits the fault was his for not informing White House officials sooner. And the spokesman insisted the vetting process is thorough and effective.

Pressed as to how questions about the ex-New York police commissioner's background could have fallen through the cracks, McClellan insisted President Bush is "looking forward," and considers the Kerik matter "closed."

Kerik's was the second Bush nomination to be pulled over the status of domestic help. In 2001, commentator Linda Chavez bowed out as labor secretary after admitting she sheltered an illegal immigrant.

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