Evan Vucci / AP

The latest on the president's search to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser:

  1. The dropouts: Retired generals Michael Harward and David Petraeus.
  2. Why Trump can't get his favorites to a "yes": A senior administration official (usually jargon for a White House staffer who won't go on the record) told the WSJ that it's because Trump won't permit a purge of the current staff, including deputy NSC K.T. McFarland, who was chosen by Trump himself.
  3. As the WSJ put it: "Administration officials want someone who is going to coordinate and limit conflicts with the agencies on the council, not try to take policy-making away from them or the president."
  4. The White House officials making policy: Increasingly Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, per CNN, WSJ and others.
  5. Still in play for the job: Acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg, former UN ambassador John Bolton, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and former Army Chief of Staff and retired Gen. Ray Odierno.

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Photo: Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump suggested Thursday that he'll resist any moves that could cut off candidates' microphones in the next debate if he continues to talk over his opponent and the moderator.

  • "Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?" he tweeted.

The big picture: White House and campaign officials insist Trump is still committed to two remaining debates, despite fallout from Tuesday including poor reviews and discussions of new guardrails.