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Harward Turns Down Offer To Become White House National Security Adviser

Vice Admiral Robert Harward served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. President Donald Trump's first choice for national security adviser, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, has turned down the offer.

Harward was offered the job after Trump fired Michael Flynn for misleading Vice President Mike Pence over his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

Harward, who is now an executive at Lockheed Martin, cited family and financial reasons for opting not to take the job.

"It's purely a personal issue," Harward told AP late on February 16. "I'm in a unique position finally, after being the in military for 40 years, to enjoy some personal time."

Trump appeared to refer to Harward earlier in the day at a news conference, saying, "I have somebody that I think will be outstanding for the position."

Trump also said the reason he asked Flynn to resign was he had not been completely truthful with Pence about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

"The thing is, he didn't tell our vice president properly, and then he said he didn't remember. So either way, it wasn't very satisfactory to me," Trump said.

The White House has named two other contenders for the job: acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg and retired General David Petraeus.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters