Vice Adm. Robert Harward has been offered the role of National Security Adviser following the resignation of Michael Flynn, according to multiple reports.
The magazine Foreign Policy first reported Harward had been offered the job by President Donald Trump, who was surprised when the candidate said he needed time to think it over. Harward was a Navy SEAL and has combat experience. He was also the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command under now Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led Central Command at the time.
Reuters also reported that Harward had been offered the job, citing two unnamed sources, but it was unclear if he had accepted. Flynn resigned from the position after just more than three weeks in the role after it was revealed that he had seemingly misrepresented conversations he had with a Russian ambassador, claiming he had not talked about U.S. sanctions enacted by President Barack Obama when he actually did.
Harward was more of a moderate choice than Flynn, who ruffled feathers with his connections to Russia and clashes with the intelligence community. Harward was described by the website Vox as "basically the anti-Flynn."
The Rhode Island native grew up in Iran, where his father was stationed as a naval officer. He, too, joined the Navy, serving with the SEALs. He commanded troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also worked with the National Security Council and with Mattis during the Obama administration. Andrea Mitchell of NBC News described Harward as Mattis' "protégé."
If Harward accepts Trump's offer, Foreign Policy reported he would be expected to overhaul the staff, adding more folks with more national security experience. At the moment, Harward was working for defense contractor Lockheed Martin, overseeing its business in the United Arab Emirates and Middle East.
Harward has even drawn praise from the left. Obama's former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor tweeted he is "a very impressive (and nice) guy."