Vice President Mike Pence's new national security adviser steps down after reported pushback from Trump

Vice President Mike Pence in Peru
(Image credit: Luka Gonzales/AFP/Getty Images)

On Sunday night, Jon Lerner resigned as Vice President Mike Pence's national security adviser, just three days after Pence appointed him to the job. Lerner, who is the top deputy to U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, did not give a reason in the statement released by Pence's office, but Axios reports that Lerner stepped aside to avoid causing any more distractions in the White House. "The vice president's team has always conducted business without drama and agreed with Jon that we can continue to look upon Jon for advice without causing any distractions," a source familiar with the deliberations told Axios.

Earlier Sunday, Axios' Jonathan Swan reported that President Trump moved to block Lerner from coming on board Friday, furious because Lerner had worked as a pollster and ad maker for Club For Growth when the conservative group was spending millions of dollars to knock Trump out of the Republican primaries. Trump told Chief of Staff to get rid of Lerner on Friday, Axios said, but Pence called Trump after landing in Peru and learning about the kerfuffle, and was able to get Trump to drop his opposition. There was also reportedly concern in the White House that Lerner would have been spread too thin working for both Pence and Haley, and suggestions that he lacked the proper background in national security and foreign policy.

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