President Donald Trump wants to replace ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as quickly as possible. However, it’s going to take a little longer than he hopes, because the person who was offered the job has seemingly turned it down.
The White House has not commented on this pick, but a report from The Financial Times claims the Trump administration is trying to convince former Navy SEAL Robert Harward to take the job despite his misgivings.
But Mr Harward is said to have turned Mr Trump down. “Harward is conflicted between the call of duty and the obvious dysfunctionality [of the Trump administration],” said one person with first hand knowledge of the discussions between Mr Trump and Mr Harward. The second person said Mr Trump had asked Mr Harward to return to the White House for another meeting to try to change his mind.
Appointing Mr Harward, a well-liked navy veteran who is close to James Mattis, US defence secretary, would help Mr Trump start to reduce some of the turmoil that has rocked his administration in recent weeks.
Harward also reportedly is concerned that he would not be allowed to install his own staff in the agency, amid rumors that former Fox News contributor KT McFarland has been asked to stay on in her role as Deputy NSA. “Harward refused to keep McFarland as his deputy, and after a day of negotiations over this and other staffing matters, Harward declined to serve as Flynn’s replacement,” CBS News reports.
In terms of fitness for the job, Harward served on the National Security Council for President George W. Bush and served as the deputy commander at CENTCOM. He is a respected figure who is seen as less temperamental and volatile as Flynn. Something, it appears, is not a good fit for the Trump White House.
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