President Donald Trump is considering three former high-ranking military officials for the post of national security adviser, after the Monday resignation of Michael Flynn.
Flynn stepped down after reports indicated he misled Vice President Mike Pence on his discussions during the presidential transition with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
Trump is considering retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, retired Gen. David Petraeus, and retired Adm. Robert Harward to replace Flynn. Harward is reportedly the favorite to succeed Flynn. He served as a deputy to then-Gen. James Mattis while both were in U.S. Central Command and does not carry the controversy or age of the other picks.
“There are a handful of good options, but it’s clear he’s at the top of the list,” a senior administration official told Politico Tuesday.
Both Kellogg and Petraeus served critical roles in the U.S. war in Iraq. Kellogg served as a major figure in the 2004 Coalition Provisional Authority, which served as the government of Iraq until the nationwide elections in 2005. He is currently serving as the interim national security adviser to Trump, served as one of Flynn’s deputies in the White House, and is currently 72 years old. Kellogg was also one of the early backers of the Trump campaign, and served as a foreign policy adviser early on.
Petraeus’ path to the post is fraught with complications given his current probation for lying to federal authorities about illegally disclosing classified information to his mistress. Trump has, however, previously spoken highly of Petraeus and considered him for the post of secretary of state during the presidential transition.
“Five years ago, I made a serious mistake,” Petraeus told reporters in December after his meeting with Trump. He continued, “I acknowledged it. I apologized for it. I paid a very heavy price for it and I’ve learned form it.”
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