Joe Biden to nominate Ex-CENTCOM Chief Austin to lead Defense Department: Reports
Washington/Sputnik: President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate former commander of US Central Command, retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, to be his Secretary of Defense, Politico reported citing three people familiar with the matter.
The report said on Monday that Biden also considered former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson for the post, but there were concerns over his record on expanding family detention, accelerating deportations, and approving drone strikes against civilians.
The report added that Austin will need a waiver from the US Congress to be considered as a nominee because he has not been out of the military for the required seven years.
Earlier on Monday, Biden told reporters that he will announce his pick for Defense chief on Friday.
In November, Trump authorized the General Services Administration to initiate a formal transition to the Biden team despite continuing legal disputes over the outcome of the presidential election.
Biden, whose victory has been officially certified by the states, already announced other picks for his cabinet.
The former vice president has picked Antony Blinken to be Secretary of State, Avril Haines to be Director of National Intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be US Ambassador to the United Nations, former top US diplomat John Kerry to be US Special Envoy for Climate, and former Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen to lead the Treasury Department.