Vice Adm. Robert Harward in 2011.Sgt. Shawn Coolman / U.S. Marine Corps/AP

Retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward has turned down an offer to become President Donald Trump's national security adviser, a White House official said on Thursday.

"It's purely a personal issue," Harward told The Associated Press on Thursday evening. "I'm in a unique position finally after being in the military for 40 years to enjoy some personal time."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, "He is a great man who has served his country with distinction. Any discussion was subject to him overcoming family and financial concerns [which] he could not do."

Trump is searching for a replacement for retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned on Monday over phone calls with ...