Trump's choice for national security adviser has turned down offer - sources

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WASHINGTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's choice for national security adviser, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, has turned down the offer, a senior White House official said on Thursday.

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

The White House official said Harward cited family and financial reasons for opting not to take the job. Harward is a senior executive at Lockheed Martin.

Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions:

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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

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Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

(Photo credit DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

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Energy secretary: Rick Perry

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Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

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Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

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Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

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Chief strategist: Steve Bannon

(EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

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Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

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Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

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White House counsel: Donald McGahn

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Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

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Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

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Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

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Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

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Two sources familiar with the decision said Harward turned down the job in part because he wanted to bring in his own team.

That put him at odds with Trump, who had told Flynn's deputy, K.T. McFarland, that she could stay.

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

The president also made clear why he asked Flynn to resign, saying it was because the retired lieutenant general had not been completely truthful with Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States, 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. (Reporting by John Walcott and Steve Holland; Editing by Eric Walsh and Peter Cooney)

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