Trump camp considering Ayotte for Defense Secretary: report
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: WHCA picking non-comedian for headliner a 'good first step' Five takeaways from Mississippi's Senate debate Watergate’s John Dean: Nixon would tell Trump 'he's going too far' MORE’s team has added outgoing Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteElection Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms GOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford Pallbearers, speakers announced for McCain's DC memorial service and Capitol ceremony MORE (R-N.H.) to its shortlist for Defense Secretary, according to a new report.

Ayotte would potentially give the Trump administration one of its few female Cabinet members and a major hawkish, neoconservative voice, The Washington Post reported Friday.


No final decisions have been made about the post, according to two sources familiar with the Trump team’s deliberations.

Trump’s current list for the role is reported to also include retired Army Lt. Gen. Joseph “Keith” Kellogg, former Defense Intelligence Agency director Gen. Michael Flynn and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

Flynn’s obstacles to the position are unique, the newspaper added, as he would need a congressional waiver to bypass a law requiring the Defense Secretary to be out of active duty for at least seven years.

The Washington Post said Ayotte’s name entered the picture as she would mark a peace offering to the GOP’s foreign policy establishment after Trump repeatedly hammered it on the campaign trail.

The two sources added Trump’s team considers Ayotte competent, knowledgeable and a likely swift Senate confirmation.

Ayotte earlier Friday dodged questions about her openness to serving in the future Trump administration, however.

"We need, in terms of our country, to come together and solve our problems so I certainly congratulate him and wish him the very best," she told NH1 News asked about a possible defense or national security role.

"I'll always find a way to serve our state and our country even as a private citizen. Certainly, if I can help him in any way, I will. Right now I'm just regrouping with my family," she said.

Ayotte on Wednesday conceded the New Hampshire Senate race after a narrow loss.

Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) earned victory after defeating the incumbent senator by 1,023 votes, according to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website.

Ayotte repeatedly struggled with how to campaign with Trump’s name on the top of her ticket during her fight with Hassan.

The outgoing senator was notably absent during the Republican National Convention in July, for example, and also wrestled with a question about whether Trump is a good role model for children.

Ayotte first said the billionaire would "absolutely" be an example for young people, only to walk it back later when she came under attack for the remark.

She announced in October that she could not vote for her party’s presidential nominee.

“I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women,” she said after a 2005 audio recording emerged of Trump speaking crudely about women.

Updated: 6:55 p.m.