Jeh Johnson not interested in replacing Defense Secy. Hagel

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Monday withdrew his name as a candidate to replace Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelArmy taps University of Wisconsin to lead research into hybrid vehicles, aircraft While our foes deploy hypersonic weapons, Washington debates about funding Hillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers MORE.

Johnson, a former Pentagon general counsel, was a top contender for the position, but told the White House he was not interested in the job, according to the Associated Press.

Johnson joins a line of other contenders who say they don't want to be considered for the position, after the president announced Hagel's resignation last Monday.

Last week, frontrunner Michele Flournoy, former under secretary of defense, and Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Overnight Defense: Armed Services chairman unsold on slashing defense budget | Democratic Senate report details 'damage, chaos' of Trump foreign policy | Administration approves .8B Taiwan arms sales Overnight Defense: Famed Navy SEAL calls Trump out | Yemen's Houthi rebels free two Americans | Marines fire commander after deadly training accident MORE (D-R.I.), and Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinMichigan to pay 0M to victims of Flint water crisis Unintended consequences of killing the filibuster Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 MORE (D-Mich.) all said they did not want to be considered for the position. 

Still on the list to replace Hagel is Ashton Carter, the former deputy defense secretary who left in 2013, and Robert Work, current deputy defense secretary and former Marine.  

Hagel has said he will stay on until a successor is found, but Johnson's recent decision highlights the difficulty the administration might have in finding a successor.  

White House and Defense officials have publicly painted Hagel's resignation as a mutual decision, but privately have said disagreements about policy played a role.