CNN | 12/19/2018 | Listen

Pence's pick for national security adviser withdraws

Updated 11:42 PM ET, Sun April 15, 2018

(CNN) - Vice President Mike Pence's pick for his national security adviser, Jon Lerner, has withdrawn after his hiring created tensions in the administration.

"Tonight 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. "Vice President Pence holds Jon Lerner in the highest regard and expressed his deep gratitude for Jon's willingness to consider joining our team."

A GOP source close to the administration confirmed that news of Lerner's hiring by the vice president created some tension within the administration, saying it caused "a big damn mess."

On Sunday, Axios reported that President Donald Trump attempted to block Pence from hiring Lerner because of his "never Trump" views.

A White House official confirms that Trump and Pence talked about Lerner by phone on Friday.

Lerner currently serves as the deputy to UN ambassador Nikki Haley. Lerner intended to continue working with Haley while advising the vice president, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.


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