Vice Admiral Robert Harward turns down Trump’s offer for national security adviser job

The Vice Admiral cited personal reasons for not taking up the offer.

By: AP | Washington | Updated: February 17, 2017 8:15 am
trump security adviser, trump NSA job offer, united states, us vice admiral, robert harward, us president, donald trump, trump NSA job nominee, trump administration, white house, national security council, NSA, NSC, us news Vice Admiral Robert S Harward, commanding officer of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, speaks to an Afghan official during his visit to Zaranj, Afghanistan, in this January 6, 2011 handout photo. 

Vice Admiral Robert Harward has turned down an offer to be President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, the latest blow to a new administration struggling to find its footing. Harward told The Associated Press that the Trump administration was “very accommodating to my needs, both professionally and personally.”

“It’s purely a personal issue,” Harward said Thursday evening. “I’m in a unique position finally after being the in military for 40 years to enjoy some personal time.” Asked whether he had requested to bring in his own staff at the National Security Council, Harward said, “I think that’s for the president to address.” Following Flynn’s ouster, administration officials said his deputy, KT McFarland, was staying on at the NSC. McFarland is a former Fox News analyst.

Harward would have replaced retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned at Trump’s request Monday after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussing sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the US during the transition. Trump said in a news conference Thursday that he was disappointed by how Flynn had treated Pence, but did not believe Flynn had done anything wrong by having the conversations.

Harward, a former Navy SEAL, served as deputy commander of US Central Command under Gen. James Mattis, who is now defense secretary. Harward served on the National Security Council under President George W. Bush and commissioned the National Counter Terrorism Center.

Upon retirement in 2013 after a nearly 40-year career in the Navy, Harward became chief executive officer for defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin in the United Arab Emirates. Trump has recently been in very public negotiations with Lockheed over the cost of its F-35 fighter jet.

trump security adviser, trump NSA job offer, united states, us vice admiral, robert harward, us president, donald trump, trump NSA job nominee, trump administration, white house, national security council, NSA, NSC, us news Then US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L), walks with Vice Admiral Robert Harward (C) and Colonel Kelly Martin, vice commander of 6th Air Mobility Wing, after landing at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida, US, March 21, 2013. Picture taken March 21, 2013. (Picture courtesy Erin A Kirk-Cuomo/Department of Defense/Handout via REUTERS)

Officials said earlier this week that there were two other contenders in the running for the job: acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg and retired Gen. David Petraeus.

Petraeus, a retired four-star general, resigned as CIA director in 2012 and pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information relating to documents he had provided to his biographer, with whom he was having an affair.

He was also fined $100,000 and remains on probation.

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