Trump sought to block Pence pick for key national security post: report

Source: The Hill | April 15, 2018 | Brett Samuels

President Trump reportedly tried to prevent Vice President Pence from appointing his chosen national security adviser, citing the staffer’s past opposition to Trump’s candidacy. 

Axios reported Sunday that Trump was upset when he learned Pence was hiring Jon Lerner to advise him on national security and foreign policy. Lerner currently serves as a deputy for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

The Washington Post reported last Thursday that Pence hired Lerner, and that Lerner would continue to work with Haley despite his new role advising the vice president. 

Prior to joining Haley’s team in the Trump administration, Lerner advised the super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) 2016 presidential campaign.

He also worked as a pollster with the Club for Growth, a conservative group that ran anti-Trump ads during the 2016 campaign and has at times been critical of the president’s policies. 

His past roles bothered Trump, Axios reported, citing three sources. He questioned why Pence would hire Lerner, and told chief of staff John Kelly to block the move.

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