Monday, 18 February, 2019

Vice Admiral Robert Harward turns down national security adviser job

Melinda Barton | 17 February, 2017, 01:38

President Trump has asked a widely respected career naval officer to replace Michael Flynn, a choice that appears created to soothe growing anxiety about turmoil on his national security team.

That is, the Free Beacon reports that Harward, a former Navy SEAL and deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, would "start over" at NSC.

The controversy surrounding Flynn began when someone leaked information that he was speaking to Russian officials and urging them not to overreact to the sanctions placed on them by the Obama administration - implying that the Trump administration may have a different position on Russia than his predecessor.

Kellogg, a three star former Army lieutenant general, served under Flynn in the Trump administration as the council's chief of staff.

Harward, notably, does not appear to have a Twitter account.

He now works for Lockheed Martin as an executive.

Harward is well-respected in the national security community.

"Gen. Flynn is a wonderful man".

Mattis and Flynn's relationship was tenuous at best.

It wasn't clear if he had accepted the position, Reuters reported. And now, it turns out Trump's choice to replace Michael Flynn, his disgraced NSA, has turned him down.

Trump was reportedly "a bit surprised when Harward responded by saying he needed a couple of days to think it over", according to Foreign Policy's Thomas Ricks.

Flynn's tenure as national security adviser was the shortest ever - less than one month - and the outspoken general provoked strong partisan sentiment in Washington. There was no ill intent and again, no national security was jeopardized in any way.

He worked with Mattis at Central Command. That may not seem like much, but I was pretty radioactive with some defense secretaries and Joint Chiefs chairmen, so I think it showed courage on their parts.

Jordan Fabian and Rebecca Kheel contributed.