Robert Harward, President Trump’s top choice to become the US’ new national security adviser, has turned down the chance to take up the role.
The retired vice admiral and ex-Navy Seal declined the President’s offer to replace former top aide Michael Flynn for “personal” reasons, saying he was “in a unique position finally after being in the military for 40 years to enjoy some personal time.”
Harward was one of three candidates that emerged as front-runner’s for the national security adviser role this week after Flynn quit the post after just three weeks in the job.
Flynn was reportedly asked for his resignation by President Trump himself after revelations that he had misled colleagues about his contacts with Russia.
Harward’s rejection of the offer to become one of the White House’s top aides is the latest blow for the president and comes less than 24 hours after Trump also lost his top pick to become the new labour secretary after front-runner Andrew Puzder said he was taking his name out of the ring.
Harward told the press that Trump had been “very accommodating to my needs, both professionally and personally” but that his decision not to pursue the role was “purely a personal issue”.
There remaining two contenders believed to be in the running for the job are acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg and David Petraeus.
Kellogg is a retired lieutenant general who has been named as the acting national security adviser until the position is filled and Petraeus is a former CIA director and retired four-star general.
Follow us on Twitter at @thesignalng
Copyright 2017 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to www.signalng.com and other relevant sources.