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Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward, commanding officer of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, speaks to an Afghan official during his visit to Zaranj, Afghanistan, in this January 6, 2011 handout photo. Sgt. Shawn Coolman/U.S. Marines/Handout via REUTERS

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration has offered the job of White House national security adviser, vacated by former U.S. intelligence official Michael Flynn, to Vice Admiral Robert Harward, said two U.S. officials familiar with the matter on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear if Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command who has Navy SEAL combat experience, had accepted the offer, according to sources.

A White House spokesperson had no immediate comment.

Flynn resigned on Monday after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before President Donald Trump took office.

Losing his national security adviser so soon after taking office is an embarrassment for the new Republican president, who has made national security a top priority.

Harward, a Rhode Island native who went to school in Tehran before the Shah was toppled in 1979, did a tour on the National Security Council under former Republican President George W. Bush, working on counterterrorism. He also has combat experience on SEAL teams and served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Harward now works as an executive for defence contractor Lockheed Martin, with responsibility for its business in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and John Walcott; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and James Dalgleish)

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