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Former Pentagon Official Tapped to Replace Chuck Hagel: Reports


President Barack Obama will nominate former Pentagon official Ashton Carter to be the next secretary of defense, according to multiple media reports.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Associated Press he was informed of the pending nomination Tuesday after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said last month that he was stepping down.

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2013 file photo, Ashton Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. People familiar with the decision-making process say President Barack Obama’s shortlist for Defense Secretary includes Carter, the former deputy defense secretary who left the administration in late 2013, and Robert Work, who currently holds the No. 2 job at the Pentagon. The president has also been considering Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who previously served as the Pentagon’s top lawyer, though some administration officials are concerned about leaving a vacancy at DHS just as the agency starts implementing Obama’s immigration executive actions. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) In this Feb. 12, 2013 file photo, Ashton Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Carter has served under two Obama defense secretaries, and was the No. 2 Pentagon official until last December. He served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy under President Bill Clinton.

White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told TheBlaze Tuesday regarding the Carter pick, "We are not in a position to confirm at this point."

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, a former general counsel at the Pentagon, had been mentioned among the possibilities to replace Hagel, but took himself out of consideration, according to Reuters.

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