Trump’s bad day just got worse as the guy he tapped to take over his disgraced National Security Advisor’s job told him “No thanks.” Unfortunately, the rest of the country loses as well, because unlike Michael Flynn, the prospect, retired Navy SEAL Robert Harward, is widely respected, sane, and a genuine American hero.
Harward is *widely* admired inside the NatSec world, and among Obama people. One told me yesterday "the country will be safer w him"
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 17, 2017
But Trump’s America is no country for sane men, so Harward is out. The reason why Trump killed this potential excellent hire is astonishingly petty.
According to CBS’s Major Garrett, Harward made the reasonable request that Trump dismiss the unqualified Fox News pundit he inexplicably hired to be Deputy National Security Advisor. Harward wanted to shape up the chaotic, dysfunctional security council. Trump refused.
Harward turns down National Security Adviser post – dispute is over Flynn staffers, chief among them Deputy NSA McFarland.
— Major Garrett (@MajorCBS) February 16, 2017
K.T. McFarland is regarded by many in the intelligence community as a total insult to the work they do. Her last job was a gig on Fox News as an analyst and her last scandal was getting caught pretending she wrote one of Ronald Reagan’s most famous speeches. (She didn’t.)
For Harward, as well as his colleagues, retaining McFarland was a non-starter. But Trump said he’d rather stick with her than get a responsible person in the position.
Mr. Trump told Deputy National Security Adviser K. T. McFarland that she could retain her post, even after the ouster of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Harward refused to keep McFarland as his deputy, and after a day of negotiations over this and other staffing matters, Harward declined to serve as Flynn’s replacement.
No president who gives a job as important as Deputy NSA to a Fox News talking head because she was an early supporter is not taking the position seriously.
Harward, a badass, put things a bit more colorfully, calling the offer and Trump’s subsequent treatment of him a “shit sandwich.”
A friend of Harward's says he was reluctant to take NSA job bc the WH seems so chaotic; says Harward called the offer a "shit sandwich."
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 17, 2017
One can only hope that there were witnesses to watch the blood drain out of Trump’s face in that moment. I’d buy money to see it.
Featured image via Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images