President Obama has picked former Pentagon official Ashton Carter to be his next secretary of Defense, a White House official confirmed.
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The official said Obama would announce his intent to nominate Carter to replace Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a Friday morning press conference.
The president’s selection of Carter, 60, who was deputy Defense secretary from October 2011 to December 2013, was widely rumored but not confirmed by the White House until now.
If confirmed by the Senate, Carter would be Obama’s fourth Pentagon chief in his roughly six-year administration. The development comes less than two weeks after Hagel abruptly resigned under White House pressure, after less than two years on the job.