Trump's choice for national security adviser turns down offer: Reports

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Harward is torn between 'call of duty and the obvious dysfunctionality' of Trump administration, one person said

Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward grew up in Iran and served in Iraq and Afghanistan (Reuters)
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Friday 17 February 2017 8:52 UTC
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President Donald Trump's choice for national security adviser, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, has turned down the offer, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing two people familiar with the situation.

Harward was offered the job after Michael Flynn resigned on Monday for misleading Vice President Mike Pence over his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

"Harward is conflicted between the call of duty and the obvious dysfunctionality," an identified source familiar with the situation told FT.

Harward comes from a Navy family, and grew up in Iran where he graduated from the Tehran American High School in 1974, five years before the Islamic revolution. Since his retirement from the US military in 2013, he has been a representative for the defence contractor Lockheed Martin in the United Arab Emirates.

Unlike Flynn, he did not voice support for Trump during the elections and is not outspoken. He has only made a few media statements about political events. However, in 2013, he penned a column for the Huffington Post, advocating for the education of young girls and priding himself on helping communities open schools during his time in Afghanistan.

Harward has commanded Navy missions in Iraq and Afghanistan under President George W Bush. He was also a member of the National Security Council.

Trump told Deputy National Security Adviser KT McFarland that she could retain her job, according to CBS news, even after Flynn was ousted. Harward did not want McFarland as his deputy, and after a day of negotiations over this and other staffing matters, Harward declined to serve as Flynn’s replacement.