Two days after delivering a prepared statement on Donald Trump referencing certain regions as “shithole countries” on multiple CNN programs, ex-deputy director of the CIA’s Counter-terrorism Center and current news-talk superguest Philip Mudd returned to the network Sunday night to speak again with Don Lemon and walk back some of the statements for the sake of clarification’s.
According to Mudd, whose statement included the startling but heartfelt words “I’m a proud shitholer”, he has been the target of a social media campaign to slander and debase his name and character since his CNN appearances Friday.
During the program, Mudd shared a series of Tweets that had been directed to his attention and reported that people had contacted him via email, voicemail,and skywriting since Friday to “humiliate, degrade, threaten, and lavish me with other unwanted attentions.”
During the broadcast, Mudd delivered the following prepared statement (link to video at bottom).
“I just wanted to take a moment to speak to America about a loosely-prepared statement I made a few days ago. As some of you may recall, right on this program and others, I called myself a “proud shitholer”.
And, you know, maybe it’s a good time for the President to be watching or listening, because I’m here today to say that perhaps I could have been more clear, that sometimes even a really smart guy can speak out of place or say the wrong thing, even when our intentions come from the best of places.
For the past several days, since calling myself a “proud shitholer” several times here on CNN, I’ve been harassed, defamed, and in some cases ridiculed and even threatened for some of the words I chose to use during that interview. In some cases, the vitriol has come from places that I, honestly, never expected.
First, right off the top, I wanted to clarify that when I spoke about people from Ireland, China, Ecuador and other regions coming from “shithole countries”, I was not calling those countries shitholes, regardless of the fact that the President clearly did not specify these regions when he referenced certain disadvantaged nations as “shithole countries”. I want to apologize to anyone from these and other lesser fortunate regions to which the President did not refer, but to which I did refer repeatedly, who might have misunderstood my context. I would hope, from the bottom of my heart, that everyone knows that I love these countries and these men, and that those people from the Central American regions to which I referenced would cease sending threats and help us distance ourselves from this particular horrible stereotype.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s take on some of the other charges that I’ve faced in the so-called public courts over the past few days.
Perhaps, in all fairness, it had never occurred to me that the word “shitholer” might, somewhere in the darkest crevices of the minds of certain Americans, have more than one meaning. I think everyone knew and understood the context in which I was using the word, and any attempt to make it into something lewd or private is something I found both disconcerting and indicative of the division in our great country.
In my time as an Intelligence official and in my time in news journalism, I had never considered that someone might intentionally take my words out of context to fit their own sick agenda.
To think of some of the things that I’m certain my youngest and most innocent family members read and the graphically and aggressively sexual images they viewed while looking at my Twitter feed … it’s absolutely deplorable.
I think it’s significant for people to understand that my statement was not one purporting to enjoy a sexual act, but instead one that, as a person from a predominantly white region, conveys my love and admiration for brown regions, regions that the President either chooses to ignore or wishes to wipe clean.
And, finally, while I appreciate the support the support I have received and the generous words from such unlikely groups as the Log Cabin Republicans and the Lemon Party, I just wanted to take a moment to let some of our viewers know that the private messages with romantic invitations to truck stops, bathhouses, and Cracker Barrels have been most flattering … but guys, it’s nothing that’s really going to happen. After all, I am an Intelligence official as well as a serious journalist, and I have a reputation to uphold.”
Mudd is expected to deliver the statement on CNN program’s through Monday prime-time. A clip of Mudd’s second appearance on Don Lemon’s program can be seen here.