The following article by Jenna Johnson and Adam Entous was posted on the Washington Post website February 16, 2017:
Retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward has turned down President Trump’s offer to become his new national security adviser, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.
Harward would have replaced Michael Flynn, who announced his resignation late Monday amid allegations that he discussed U.S. sanctions with a Russian official before Trump took office and then misrepresented the content of that conversation to Vice President Pence and other administration officials.
One factor in Harward’s decision was that he couldn’t get a guarantee that he could select his own staff, according to a person close to Trump with knowledge of the discussions.
Other officials said his decision was motivated by financial concerns about leaving his job at aerospace firm Lockheed Martin, where he is a senior executive, and the impact it would have on his family.
One senior U.S. official said that “family considerations changed his mind.” A friend of Harward’s added that he was also not fully comfortable with the quickly moving process. All requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.
The news of Harward’s decision was first reported by the Financial Times.
The administration had hoped to name Harward to the position this week, in an effort to soothe the turmoil rolling through the White House. Even before Flynn resigned, the administration was wooing Harward. The hard-charging former Navy SEAL was at the White House on Feb. 8 and then again this week, according to an administration official. Harward commanded high-risk operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and later parachuted into his own retirement ceremony from high altitude.
Trump suggested at a news conference Thursday that one of the reasons he felt he could let Flynn go was because he had a good replacement in mind, without naming that person.