Two days after being officially named to the job, Jon Lerner has withdrawn from his role to support Vice President Mike Pence as a national security aide. Lerner came to this role from working as a security aide for UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
When Trump was told that Lerner had been chosen by Pence for the role of security aide, he became incensed and told General Kelly, his chief-of-staff, to get rid of Lerner. Axios reports that President Trump learned of Lerner’s role crafting attack ads for “Club for Growth’s” anti-Trump blitz during the Republican primaries.
Pence and his team were en route to the Summit of the Americas, and took a call from the president when they landed in Peru. Senior officials were also concerned about the logistics of Lerner dividing his time between Haley and Pence.
It was also reported that Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, who worked with Lerner on other campaigns, had briefed Kelly and other senior officials on the appointment in advance. As the scuffle unfolded, Jon Lerner withdrew “to minimize the amount of conflict and internal drama,” a White House official said.