White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is denying that President Trump’s pick to replace Michael Flynn as national security advisor turned down the job because he wouldn’t be allowed to install his own staff.
“The conversations were happening based on a contingency that his family would sign off on him going further. The family didn’t sign off. That’s all it is,” Priebus said Friday on “Fox & Friends.”
“We kept in constant contact with him and he called us and said, ‘Guess what? I’ve got some support in the family but others are not that excited about it,’ ” he added.
“He told us that it’s something that his family couldn’t go for. But he was honored to be talked to. It wasn’t going to happen and it’s a reasonable thing.”
Harward said Thursday he believed being Trump’s national security adviser required “24 hours a day, 7 days a week focus and commitment to do it right.”
“I currently could not make that commitment,” the former Navy SEAL said in a statement reported by CNN.
The Financial Times reported Thursday that a source familiar with Harward’s decision said he was concerned with whether top administration officials would let him install his own staff.
Flynn’s deputy national security adviser, K.T. McFarland, told The Hill Tuesday Trump had “asked that I stay on” following the retired Army lieutenant general’s departure Monday.
Flynn resigned Monday amid reports he misled senior White House officials about his discussions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December.
Reports emerged last week that, despite denials, Flynn and Kislyak talked about U.S. sanctions against Russia before Trump entered office.