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 HagelFormer Republican national security officials demand GOP leaders denounce Trump's refusal to concede election Republicans who could serve in a Biden government How a tied Senate could lead a divided America 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 ReedJack ReedTop Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper | Worries grow about rudderless post-election Pentagon | Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up | Pelosi says Esper firing shows Trump intent on sowing 'chaos' Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up MORE (D-R.I.), and Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Michigan to pay 0M to victims of Flint water crisis Unintended consequences of killing the filibuster 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.