Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward disappointed President Donald Trump yesterday when he turned down the job of National Security Advisor. Trump had offered Harward the job on Monday and was surprised when Harward asked for more time to consider the offer.
Harward has given different explanations for his reasons. To the AP, Harward said, “It’s purely a personal issue. I’m in a unique position finally after being in the military for 40 years to enjoy some personal time.” To at least one friend, however, he was far blunter:
A friend of Harward’s says he was reluctant to take NSA job bc the WH seems so chaotic; says Harward called the offer a “shit sandwich.”
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 17, 2017
The White House officials and Obama and Bush officials have said that they were hoping Harward would take the job to add stability to the Trump administration. Harward spent almost 40 years in the navy, and worked closely with General James Mattis, Trump’s Secretary of Defense, as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command. Harward would have replaced Michael Flynn, who resigned as NSA after lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russians before Trump took office.
Reports say that Harward particularly objected to keeping Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland in her role. McFarland has not worked in the government for more than thirty years but in recent years appeared frequently on Fox News as a pundit.
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