Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, commanding officer of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, greets an Afghan official during his visit to Zaranj, Afghanistan, January 6, 2011. Picture taken January 6, 2011. Photo courtesy of Sgt. Shawn Coolman/Department of Defense/Handout via REUTERS.
Retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward abruptly turned down President Donald Trump’s offer to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser, and Trump is trying to change his mind.
According to two sources familiar with the matter who spoke with Financial Times, Harward told Trump he could not accept his offer.
“Harward is conflicted between the call of duty and the obvious dysfunctionality,” said one source with direct knowledge of the situation.
When news first broke Monday that Trump offered the position to Harward, the former Navy SEAL asked for a couple of days to mull it over.
Now, it appears that Harward is trying to turn down the offer. Another source said that Trump asked Harward to come back to the White House for an additional meeting.
One of the possible reasons why Harward is hesitant about taking the position, is because it is unclear if he’ll be allowed to choose his own staff, especially since it seems likely some of Flynn’s staff, particularly K.T. McFarland, will remain.
Harward likely wants to install a team of national security professionals he’s well-acquainted with from his years of service, Tom Ricks at Foreign Policy reported Wednesday.
Trump asked Flynn to resign Monday.
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