Obama to announce Defense nominee Friday

 

President Obama will officially announce his nominee for Defense secretary at a White House event on Friday morning.

Obama appears poised to tap former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter for the Pentagon's top position. 

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Carter has been considered a top candidate for the post since Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelGOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel White House aide moves to lobbying firm Overnight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces MORE announced last week that he was resigning and other potential nominees withdrew their names from consideration. Among those were former Pentagon official Michèle Flournoy, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. 

White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday declined to confirm multiple reports that Carter is the president’s pick, stressing it was Obama's announcement to make.

On Tuesday, Earnest said Carter was "on the short list" but declined to name any other candidates. 

Obama met with top Defense officials, including Hagel, on Wednesday evening.