April 16 (UPI) — Jon Lerner, Vice President Mike Pence’s choice to be his his national security adviser, has withdrawn his name from consideration for the post.
Lerner is a deputy to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and planned to stay in that position while advising Pence.
President Donald Trump objected to Lerner’s hiring as Pence’s adviser because the president considers Lerner part of the “Never Trump” movement in 2016.
Lerner was involved in the Club for Growth’s anti-Trump political advertisements.
Trump was furious when he learned of Lerner’s potential appointment and he and Pence agreed Friday Lerner should not be appointed, Axios reported.
Some officials were skeptical that Lerner could divide his time between Pence and Haley. Others suggested Lerner’s credentials, as a pollster with little foreign policy experience, would be inadequate for a national security adviser.
Lerner withdrew his name from consideration Sunday.
“Jon informed the vice president that he was withdrawing from coming on board as national security adviser and the vice president accepted his decision,” Alyssa Farah, Pence’s press secretary, said in a statement Sunday. “Vice President Pence holds Jon Lerner in the highest regard and expressed his deep gratitude for Jon’s willingness to consider joining our team.”
It is believed to be the first time Trump has overruled Pence on a personnel matter.