President Trump’s pick to replace Michael Flynn after he resigned from the national security advisor position has himself turned down the offer Thursday, it’s being reported.
Retired Navy Vice Admiral Robert Harward is widely admired in the national security world according to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and even among Obama people. CNN’s Jake Tapper cited a friend of Harward claiming that he turned down the offer because the White House appeared to be too “chaotic,” and called the offer a “s**t sandwich.”
Here’s more from CNN:
A senior Republican familiar with the process said “a question of clarity regarding the lines of authority” was central in Harward’s decision.
“I wouldn’t call it a disagreement as much as questions that could not be resolved to his comfort level,” the Republican said.
Ret. Army Maj. Gen. James “Spider” Marks, a CNN military analyst, called Harward an “incredibly talented guy” in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront,” adding that he is close to Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Marks said he didn’t want to speculate why Harward turned down the job, but said turmoil in the White House was likely a contributing factor.
“I’m sure Bob looked at this, Adm. Harward looked at this, and said, ‘Look there’s a lot of forming and storming going on right now.'”
Fox News’ Martha MacCallum was speaking with Boris Epshteyn of the Trump administration when the news broke, and she asked him for an explanation as to what happened.
“Well Marla,” he mumbled, “there are a lot of good, strong candidates and the president will make the right choice as he always has for this country.”
“What happened with the Harward suggestion,” she persisted, “I mean it looked like, they said he was going to be in place by the end of the week, Boris, so I mean obviously something happened. So what happened.”
“So I’m not sure who that ‘they’ is, and that again goes back to unnamed sources.”
“Well the White House spokesperson said that they believed he would be in place by the end of this week,” she retorted.
“What I would say is, refer to the words of the president, that he has strong choices out there, good options, and he will name a very strong candidate and strong person to lead the NSA.”
Epshteyn continued to stonewall MacCallum when she asked if the people who served under Flynn would be staying.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 17, 2017
Flynn resigned from the position after saying Trump had lost trust in him over misleading Vice President Mike Pence over communication he had with a Russian official before the election. Trump’s detractors have seized on the opportunity to press for further investigations into alleged and possibly illegal interactions between his campaign aides and Russia.