RI native Harward turns down national security adviser job

WASHINGTON (AP/WPRI) — Vice Admiral Robert Harward has turned down an offer to be President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser.

A senior White House official says Harward turned the offer down due to financial and family commitments.

The official spoke anonymously because Harward’s decision has not been publicly announced.

Harward would have replaced retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned at Trump’s request Monday after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussions he held with a Russian diplomat.

A native of Newport, Harward served as deputy commander of the United States Central Command under Gen. James Mattis, who is now defense secretary. Harward served on the National Security Council under President George W. Bush and commissioned the National Counter Terrorism Center.

Upon retirement in 2013 after a nearly 40-year career in the Navy, Harward became chief executive officer for defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin in the United Arab Emirates. Trump has recently been in very public negotiations with Lockheed over the cost of its F-35 fighter jet program.

Officials said this week that there were two other contenders: acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg, and retired Gen. David Petraeus.