Trump’s pick to replace Flynn turns down offer: reports
President Trump’s pick to replace his former national security adviser Michael Flynn told the president he could not accept the position, according to reports Thursday.
Trump is working to convince retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward to change his mind after he turned down the position, Financial Times reported citing two sources familiar with the situation.
Reports emerged Wednesday that Trump had offered the job to Harward, a former Navy SEAL, following Flynn’s resignation on Monday.
Trump was reportedly “a bit surprised when Harward responded by saying he needed a couple of days to think it over,” according to Foreign Policy.
According to the Financial Times report, a source familiar with Harward’s decision said he was concerned about whether the top advisers in Trump’s administration would allow him to install his own staff on the National Security Council. Flynn’s deputy, K.T. McFarland, told The Hill on Tuesday that Trump had “asked that I stay on.”
Flynn resigned from his post after reports that he misled White House officials about discussing sanctions on Russia with the country’s U.S. ambassador before Trump took office.
Trump had named retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who previously served as Flynn’s chief of staff on the National Security Council, as his acting national security adviser.
Harward was among several individuals floated for the position to replace Flynn, along with homeland security adviser Tom Bossert and retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, a former CIA director.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation after his trust in the adviser had “eroded.” Trump confirmed Thursday that he had asked for Flynn’s resignation.