President Trump said Friday that retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, the acting national security adviser, is among four people who are “very much in play” for the full-time post after Vice Admiral Robert Harward turned down the position on Thursday.
“General Keith Kellogg, who I have known for a long time, is very much in play for NSA - as are three others,” the president tweeted.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus confirmed earlier on “Fox & Friends” that Gen. Kellogg is “very much in contention.”
“We’re talking to a lot of people,” Mr. Priebus said when asked if former CIA Director David Petraeus was a possibility.
“There’s also General Kellogg who’s there,” Mr. Priebus said. “[He’s] a three-star general, he’s extraordinarily talented … he’s also very much in contention.”
“Just to keep clear — it’s not vacant. Kellogg is doing the job, and he’s an extraordinary man,” he said.
Mr. Priebus said they were very interested in talking to Adm. Harward and he responded by saying he would talk to his wife and family and get back to them.
“We kept in constant contact with him. He called us and said guess what? [I’ve got] some support in the family, but others aren’t that excited about it,” Mr. Priebus said. “He then told us that it was something that his family couldn’t go for, but he was honored to be talked to and it wasn’t going to happen.”
Administration officials told the AP that Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland was staying on at the National Security Council, after Mr. Trump asked for the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn earlier this week.
Asked whether he had requested to bring in his own staff at the NSCl, Adm. Harward told The Associated Press: “I think that’s for the president to address.”
The White House said Mr. Flynn misled the administration on the nature of his talks with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak following the November election.
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