Trump’s pick, Vice Adm. Robert Harward, a former Navy SEAL, has turned down the offer to replace the embattled Michael Flynn as national security advisor.
It’s thought Harward’s decision to decline the president’s offer involve family considerations, financial concerns about leaving his job with Lockheed Martin and not receiving a guarantee he could choose his own staff., according to information coming from the Washington Post today.
While Trump said during a news conference today the White House is “running like a fine-tuned machine,” it has become apparent the machine he talks about must be tuned at a rate of too high expectations. Trump had hoped Harvard would agree and the White House could put the Flynn ordeal behind them for a while, but it was not to be.
For the most part, the National Security Council staffers are traditionally on temporary duty from the Defense and State departments and intelligence agencies. A senior official with knowledge of the NSC said they are short people, but the shortage was due to staffers coming and going as they finish and begin their two-year commitments, not because their were too few to recruit.
As for Flynn, he could face felony charges for lying to the FBI in regards to passing information about sanctions to his Russian counterparts. Though it seems unlikely the Justice Department, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would pursue an indictment.