Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward did not decline the job as President Donald Trump's national security adviser over disputes about staffing, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Friday on Fox News' "Fox and Friends."
"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.
"He told us it was something his family couldn't go for," Priebus added. "But he was honored to be talked to."
After turning down the offer, Harward said he could not make the commitment of "24 hours a day, seven days a week focus" that the job would require, according to a statement reported by CNN Friday.
A senior Republican official told CNN that Harward told the White House that if he took on the job, he would get to pick his own staff, but Harward did not feel that condition had been met.
K.T. McFarland, the deputy of resigned adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, told The Hill on Tuesday that Trump asked her to stay in the job.
In the Fox and Friends interview, Priebus said there was not a definite finalist for the job yet.
"We're talking to a lot of people," he said.
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