Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, has turned down President Trump’s offer to become the next national security adviser, he told The Associated Press Thursday.
“It’s purely a personal issue,” the retired vice admiral told AP. “I’m in a unique position finally after being in the military for 40 years to enjoy some personal time.”
Harward, 60, had been widely reported as the favorite to replace former general Michael Flynn, who resigned Monday, after misleading Vice President Pence about the nature of his conversations with the Russian ambassador.
Harward said that since retiring from the military he has been able to “address financial and family issues” in a way that would not be possible if he accepted the president’s offer, according to a statement from Harward shared by CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Like all service members understand, and live, this job requires 24 hours a day, 7 days a week focus and commitment to do it right. I currently could not make that commitment.”
Vice Admiral Harward statement: pic.twitter.com/Vxfh1Ub4l6
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 17, 2017
The retired Navy SEAL may be enjoying life in the private sector but he also turned down the White House’s role over concerns that he would not have full say over the composition of his staff, The Washington Post, CBS News and The Financial Times reported, citing unnamed sources.
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SOURCE: USA Today, William Cummings