US President Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser has turned down the job offer.
Retired Vice-Admiral Robert Harward was widely tipped for the post after Mr. Trump fired Michael Flynn on Monday.
A White House official said Mr. Harward cited family and financial commitments, but US media said the sticking point was he wanted to bring in his own team.
Mr. Flynn had misled US Vice-President Mike Pence over his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US.
The latest setback emerged hours after Mr. Trump robustly denied media reports of White House disarray, insisting his administration was running like a fine-tuned machine.
Mr. Harward told the Associated Press that the Trump administration was very accommodating to his needs, both professionally and personally.
Mr. Flynn, a retired army lieutenant-general, was ousted amid claims that before he was even appointed as national security adviser he had discussed sanctions with a Russian envoy.
This would have potentially breached a law banning private citizens from engaging in diplomacy.
Mr. Flynn initially denied having discussed sanctions with Sergei Kislyak, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.
But on Monday, Mr. Trump asked for his resignation following revelations that Mr. Flynn had misled the vice-president about his conversations with the diplomat.