Vice Adm. Robert Harward has emerged as the leading contender to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser following Flynn's late-night resignation Monday, The Washington Post reports. Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, left just a few hours after The Washington Post published a story about the Justice Department warning the White House that Flynn had discussed sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump's inauguration, and could be subject to blackmail.
Flynn recommended Harward to President Donald Trump as his replacement. Harward also enjoys the friendship of Defense Secretary James Mattis, who is helping to select the next national security adviser; Harward served as a former deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command under Mattis.
Harward is Obama administration-approved, with the former spokesman for Obama's National Security Council describing him on Twitter as a "very impressive (and nice) guy."
Conversations regarding Flynn's replacement are ongoing, and retired Army lieutenant Keith Kellogg, the acting national security adviser, remains in the mix, as does former CIA director David Petraeus.
Vice President Mike Pence is leading the search for the new adviser, assisted by Mattis, as well as Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, CIA director Mike Pompeo, senior adviser Jared Kushner, chief strategist Stephen Bannon, and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, officials told The Washington Post.