President Trump's pick to replace former national security adviser Michael Flynn told the president he could not accept the position, according to reports Thursday.

Retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward cited "financial and family issues that would have been challenging in this position" in explaining his decision to decline the offer.

"Like all service members understand, and live, this job requires 24 hours a day, 7 days a week focus and commitment to do it right. I currently could not make that commitment," Harward said in a statement reported by CNN's Jake Tapper.

"My thoughts and prayers are with those that carry such heavy burdens and responsibility for taking care of our country's national security concerns," he added.

Trump had worked to convince Harward to change his mind after he turned down the position, the Financial Times reported Thursday, citing two sources familiar with the situation.

Harward's statement declining to accept the position came a day after reports that Trump had offered the job to the former Navy SEAL following Flynn's resignation on Monday.


Trump was reportedly "a bit surprised when Harward responded by saying he needed a couple of days to think it over," according to Foreign Policy.

According to the Financial Times report, a source familiar with Harward's decision said he was concerned about whether the top advisers in Trump's administration would allow him to install his own staff on the National Security Council. Flynn's deputy, K.T. McFarland, told The Hill on Tuesday that Trump had "asked that I stay on."

Flynn resigned from his post after reports that he misled White House officials about discussing sanctions on Russia with the country's U.S. ambassador before Trump took office.

Trump had named retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who previously served as Flynn's chief of staff on the National Security Council, as his acting national security adviser. 

Harward was among several individuals floated for the position to replace Flynn, along with homeland security adviser Tom Bossert and retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, a former CIA director.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that Trump asked for Flynn's resignation after his trust in the adviser had "eroded." Trump confirmed Thursday that he had asked for Flynn's resignation.

Updated: 8:37 p.m.