McCain wants Lieberman for Defense secretary

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain's reset: US-Vietnam relations going strong after 25 years Senate outlook slides for GOP Juan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden MORE (R-Ariz.) is recommending the White House tap former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) to be the next Defense secretary.

McCain, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told The Washington Post that White House chief of staff Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughSusan Rice calls for Flynn-Kislyak transcripts to be released GOP seeks to go on offense using Flynn against Biden Tucker Carlson: Flynn case was domestic spying operation 'hidden under the pretext of national security' MORE contacted him for suggestions on a replacement for outgoing Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Hundreds of West Point alumni call out Esper over military's role in protests Can he really do that? Yes, he probably can — because Congress let him MORE.

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“I said Lieberman,” McCain told the paper.

The two lawmakers were extraordinarily close when they served in the upper chamber together. McCain considered Lieberman for his vice presidential pick during the 2008 campaign.

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also suggested President Obama pick Lieberman to helm the Pentagon.

“I urge the President to give him full and fair consideration for this critical position,” Cruz said in a statement.

McCain, though, told the Post that he did not believe the White House would select his former colleague.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Rep. Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithThe robbing of a wildlife refuge in Nevada House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday MORE (Wash.), the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee; Robert Work, Hagel’s current deputy; and Ashton Carter, a former deputy secretary of Defense, are believed to be on the president’s short list.

McCain said he did not believe Johnson is being seriously considered for the post.