President Donald Trump reportedly offered the job of national security adviser to Robert Harward on Monday night, but he was surprised when the retired admiral told him he’d need a few days to “think it over,” according to a report from Tom Ricks at Foreign Policy.
Two White House officials confirmed to The Washington Post that Harward was at the top of Trump’s three-person shortlist to replace Michael Flynn, who abruptly resigned the role after it was learned he had discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. Flynn reportedly urged him to not overreact to the latest round of sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama, indicating that the next administration might be more inclined to roll them back.
Harward, a former Navy SEAL commander who rose to deputy commander of US Central Command before retiring in 2013, would likely bring in his own staff for a “housecleaning” of the national security council, according to Ricks.
If he accepts the role, Harward would be a close ally of Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, whom he served under at Central Command. He also has NSC experience, having served on the council during the George W. Bush administration.
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