Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, has turned down President Trump's offer to become the next national security adviser, according to reports from CBS News and The Financial Times.
Harward had been widely reported as the favorite to replace former general Michael Flynn, who resigned after misleading Vice President Pence about the nature of his conversations with the Russian ambassador.
Trump asked the retired Navy SEAL, 60, to take the position, but he turned it down over concerns that he would not have full say over the composition of his staff, CBS and The Financial Times reported, citing unnamed sources.
According to CBS, Trump insisted that Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland be allowed to stay on, and Harward refused to retain the Flynn hire.
Harward, currently a senior executive at Lockheed Martin, also cited the apparent lack of organization within the Trump White House, FT reported.
Another source told The Financial Times that Trump is still working to persuade Harward to take the position. He asked for him to return to the White House for another meeting, according to FT.
“Harward is conflicted between the call of duty and the obvious dysfunctionality,” one source said, according to FT.