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White House says Harward's family vetoed offer of national security adviser

"The family didn't sign off, that's all it is," chief of staff Reince Priebus said Friday.

By Doug G. Ware
White House says Harward's family vetoed offer of national security adviser
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Friday that Robert Harward declined the post of national security adviser this week because his family would not sign off on the prospect. President Donald Trump is now searching for another nominee to replace Michael T. Flynn in the job. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Retired Navy Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward could not accept President Donald Trump's offer to be the White House national security adviser because his family wouldn't allow it, a top administration official said Friday.

Harward, 60, was offered the chance to serve as the chief White House national security counselor earlier this week after Michael T. Flynn was asked by the president to resign. The retired three-star Army general and former Obama appointee had lost Trump's confidence over disclosures he made to Vice President Mike Pence.

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After taking a couple days to consider the offer, Harward declined the post Thursday. Some sources said staffing concerns factored into the admiral's decision -- a claim White House chief of staff Reince Priebus refuted Friday.

"He called us and said, 'Guess what? I got some support in [my] family but others aren't that excited about it,'' Priebus told Fox News on Friday. "He told us that it was something that his family couldn't go for."

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Sources close to Harward also said Thursday that he did not view the national security adviser job as an attractive prospect. One source told CNN he called it a "(expletive) sandwich."

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"It wasn't going to happen," Priebus added. "The family didn't sign off, that's all it is."

Trump is now vetting additional candidates to take over as national security adviser.

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Flynn was forced to resign this week over discussions he had with Russia's top U.S. ambassador in December, and failing to recall to Pence whether they had spoken about sanctions.

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