Apr 16, 2018, 2:16 PM ET

Pence's pick for national security adviser steps aside after Trump reportedly objects


Vice President Mike Pence's pick for his national security adviser stepped aside Sunday evening after it was reported that President Donald Trump had sought to block his hiring at the White House.

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“Tonight Jon informed the vice president that he was withdrawing from coming on board as national security adviser. Vice President Pence holds Jon Lerner in the highest regard and expressed his deep gratitude for Jon’s willingness to consider joining our team,” said Alyssa Farah, Pence's press secretary, in a statement.

Pence had tapped Lerner, who currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley's deputy, to serve as his national security adviser. But, according to a report from Axios, Trump learned of Lerner's background with the conservative Club for Growth, which ran anti-Trump ads in 2016, and was "furious" Pence wanted to bring Lerner onto his team.

Lerner will stay on as a deputy to Haley.

The president's reported intervention in the hiring is an unusual move, with the president normally giving Pence great latitude in his hiring decisions.

News - Pence's pick for national security adviser steps aside after Trump reportedly objects

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  • ReadingIt

    I heard Trump found that Lerner had done some honest things. That simply nixed the deal...

  • Thomas

    Could someone please explain to me why a Vice President needs his own National Security Adviser?

    The VP does what the PotUS tells him to do.

  • j tennum

    Well, he is going to have a small pool of qualified people. Who could possible be Pro-Trump. I can't wait until they "lock the Moron up".

  • inonepeice

    "This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine"

  • Nate

    And this is why this Administration is such a wreck. An otherwise competent person was denied a role because of Trump's ego. There were large numbers of conservative foreign policy and national security experts who were openly against Trump and they, like their liberal counterparts, are effectively blackballed from serving their country. Pride cometh before a fall and I fear Trump's pride (or fragile feelings) will drag all of us down with him.

  • JuPMod

    Not surprised. After all, Trump will not want anyone who is 'anti-Trump'. They all have to be 'yes' people.

  • My two cents

    Trump does not like to be undermined. I'm surprised he hasn't criticized Macron in France for taking credit on the attack in Syria. Trump looks like he was just following orders from Europe and not the other way around.

  • tj

    Of COURSE little donnie chump is furious! Mr. Pence should know better than to try and 'undermine' Dear Leader. tsk, tsk

  • ME_NZ

    Question does anyone else get creeped out watching Pence when he is standing behind the fat one staring adoringly at the back of his head like he is eye-banging the fat sac a C Rap we got pretending to be POTUS?

  • ME_NZ

    Lerner probably has no idea how lucky he is. The closer anyone gets to the orbit of the fat orange ball of flammable gas the sun king around whom everything is supposed to orbit like moths around a flame get their wings singed off the closer they get to the fat one till they all crash and burn in a flaming flare out.

  • ditdahdit

    So a guy from a Koch-funded organization is 'unfit for service' to the Orange One. But a Koch-owned property like Pompeo, who has been bankrolled and promoted by the Koch brothers his entire political career, is suitable for any high office. Not that I expected anything resembling reason coming out of The Whatever It's Called.

  • nomoreGOP

    The dictator had spoken !!!

  • Tim Livingston

    Pence is a wimp anyway. Can you really imagine such a spineless person as president after the Grope'infuhrer takes a powder?

  • Fermer Votre Bouche

    Don't you just love it when the GOP eat their own.

  • thebobbob

    Unquestioned loyalty to The Leader is required. Our files indicate that you might have supported a different Republican candidate in the Primary and thus your loyalty is questionable. Maybe a large cash donation to the re-election campaign is in order.

  • j penske

    He most likely did or said something Trump didn't agree with. He should be glad he withdrew, he would have been fired within the month. Why anyone would even think of working for the Trump "administration", I'll never know.

  • Mari Marigold

    Breaking News: President Trump didn't issue additional sanctions against Russia Monday,
    directly contradicting an announcement by his United Nations

    UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said Sunday night that sanctions would be
    announced Monday against Russian manufacturers who produced equipment
    believed to have been used by the Syrian government in its deadly
    chemical attacks on its own people.

    But, as Moscow railed against the upcoming sanctions, Trump backpedaled
    on the announcement, telling his national security advisers late Sunday
    that he wasn't comfortable with imposing them, several people familiar
    with the matter told the Washington Post. The sources said Trump was upset by Haley's announcement.

  • Mari Marigold

    I believe trump would fire pence if he thought he could.

  • paul miller

    Pence is just an android and useless, can't stand him.

  • Prophet With Honor

    I still wonder what Trump would/could have done if Pence had manned up and hired the guy? Can't fire the VP.

  • crk

    I see that the Trump force got their RNC guidebook in time! They are particular out in force today, including Acid Wash Barbie this morning on GMA, spewing alternative facts. So brainwashed, to support the POSTUS.

  • Prophet With Honor

    Pence didn't want to get twitterbombed.

  • Chuck

    Poor Mikey, his Orange friend doesn't like his choice. He doesn't realize this is a one Clown act!

  • mollydtt

    You can't say anything anti-Trump and then expect Trump to hire you. Can't be done.

  • hold-the-phone

    Interesting that this article (as of 2:15 p.m. Eastern) doesn't say _why_ El Presidente* didn't want this guy on the team. Elsewhere, I've read that back during the 2016 campaign the fellow talked a lot about how he (El Presidente*) wasn't really a good candidate, etc.