Ex-DOD official turned down Trump job because of 'values and policy positions'

The former Pentagon official who was widely expected to become Defense secretary had Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNo, the polls aren't wrong — but you have to know what to look for How to shut down fake Republican outrage over 'spying' on Trump More than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls MORE won the election said Monday she turned down an offer to work in the Trump administration because she didn’t think her positions aligned.

"I am an enormous admirer of Jim Mattis,” Michèle Flournoy, CEO of think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS), said on MSNBC about the current Defense secretary. “And when he reached out to me, I certainly wanted to do whatever I could to support him. But I didn't think my own values and policy positions were aligned enough to serve in this administration.”

From 2009 to 2012, Flournoy was undersecretary of Defense for policy, the third-highest ranking civilian at the Pentagon.


It was widely anticipated Clinton would tap her for Pentagon chief had she won.

In December, Flournoy met with Mattis after he had been named the nominee for Defense secretary, leading to speculation Mattis wanted her for one of his deputies.

CNAS put out a statement a couple days after the meeting saying Flournoy had no plans to join the Trump administration.

But in February, she confirmed Mattis offered her a job.

“We've worked together over, you know, different incarnations over many years,” she said on a Politico podcast. “And when he called me to ask me to consider ways to help, I had to give it due consideration. But I also knew that he needed a deputy who wouldn't be struggling every other day about whether they could be part of some of the policies that were likely to take shape. And so I decided I could do best by helping from the outside.”

In Monday’s interview, Flournoy said she’s concerned the Trump administration has been too reactive in its first few months.

“My concern is that we seem to be in a very reactive mode, sort of going from issue to issue, meeting to meeting, crisis to crisis, and not having a clear strategy for sustaining U.S. leadership in the world,” she said. “And I think if in the next four years, we don’t proactively and positively sustain that leadership, we’re going to face a much more dangerous world.

“Every administration since Eisenhower has faced a major foreign policy crisis in their first year, and I’m just worried that without their team in place, without a clear strategy, this administration will have a very hard time if history repeats itself.”