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Obama to announce choice of Ash Carter for defense chief Friday: White House

Ashton 'Ash' Carter, in black at left, plans to step down as United States deputy secretary of defense.
Source: Department of Defense

President Barack Obama will announce his choice of former Pentagon official Ash Carter to be his next secretary of defense on Friday, a White House official said.

If confirmed by the Senate, Carter will replace former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who is stepping down from the role.

Obama will make the announcement at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT) at the White House, the official said. Sources said earlier this week Obama had settled on Carter for the job.

Carter previously served as deputy defense secretary from 2011 to 2013.