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Mission Impossible: finding a national security adviser

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.