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Trump’s Pick for National Security Adviser Turns Down Offer

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. The visit consisted of a tour of a provincial prison, the Iran/Afghanistan border crossing and an airfield assessment. Sgt. Shawn Coolman/US Marines. Credit: Reuters

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. Credit: Reuters

Washington: President Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser, retired vice admiral Robert Harward, has turned down the offer, a senior White House official said on Thursday.

Harward was offered the job after Michael Flynn was fired by Trump on Monday for misleading vice president Mike Pence over his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US.

Two sources familiar with the decision said Harward turned down the job in part because he wanted to bring in his own team.

That put him at odds with Trump, who had told Flynn’s deputy, K.T. McFarland, that she could stay.

Trump appeared to refer to Harward earlier in the day at a presidential news conference, saying: “I have somebody that I think will be outstanding for the position.”

The president also made clear why he asked Flynn to resign, saying it was because the retired lieutenant general had not been completely truthful with Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak.

“The thing is, he didn’t tell our vice president properly, and then he said he didn’t remember. So either way, it wasn’t very satisfactory to me,” Trump said.