Harward Turns Down Trump's National Security Adviser Offer: Sources

FILE -- Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward, commanding officer of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, speaks to an Afghan official during his visit to Zaranj, Afghanistan, Jan 6, 2011 (DoD/ Sgt. Shawn Coolma)
FILE -- Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward, commanding officer of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, speaks to an Afghan official during his visit to Zaranj, Afghanistan, Jan 6, 2011 (DoD/ Sgt. Shawn Coolma)

President Trump's first choice to succeed the departed Michael Flynn as national security adviser has turned the job down due to family reasons, sources close to the situation told Fox News late Thursday. 

One source told Fox that retired Navy Vice Admiral Robert Harward "really wanted" to do the job, but ultimately decided that he could not. 

There was no immediate comment from the White House. Harward had been due to meet with Trump Thursday night.

At a news conference earlier Thursday, the president said he had "somebody that I think will be outstanding for the position" of national security adviser, but did not mention any names.

A former Navy SEAL, Harward served as deputy commander of the United States Central Command under Gen. James Mattis, who is now defense secretary. He quickly emerged as the favorite to replace Flynn after the latter resigned Monday night, ending days of speculation about his fate following reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his discussions with Russia prior to Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration. 

After Flynn stepped down, Trump named retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as the acting national security adviser. Kellogg and former CIA Director David Petraeus were the two other candidates rumored to be under consideration. 

Fox News' Serafin Gomez and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Headlines Homeland Security Donald Trump Special Forces Navy SEALs Special Operations

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