Jon Lerner, Pence’s National Security Advisor Nominee, Withdraws Suddenly

Jon Lerner was about to become national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence until he suddenly withdrew his acceptance of the position amid reports of tensions in the White House over the appointment.

Lerner, who turns 50 this year, currently serves as deputy at the United Nations to the U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley, who he had helped in 2011 to secure the state governorship in South Carolina.

Pence’s office released a statement confirming that Lerner had withdrawn from the role, and said the vice president holds him “the highest regard,” reported CNN. According to Axios, Trump blocked Lerner because of his past role in the ‘Never Trump’ campaign by Republicans.

Politico reported in July 2016, before Trump became Republican nominee for president, that Lerner was working in the shadows as a strategist and pollster instrumental to the anti-Trump movement within the party.

The publicity-shy Minneapolis-born political strategist, who is married to Aliza with whom he has three children—a son, Elia, and two daughters, Lena and Batshiva—runs the Red Sea consultancy firm, which he founded two decades ago.

He was educated at George Washington University, the London School of Economics, and the University of Chicago Law School, according to the Red Sea website. Now he lives in Maryland.

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SOURCE: Newsweek, Shane Croucher