Chuck Hagel is stepping down from his position as Defense Secretary, The New York Times reports:
The president, who is expected to announce Mr. Hagel’s resignation in a Rose Garden appearance on Monday, made the decision to ask his defense secretary — the sole Republican on his national security team — to step down last Friday after a series of meetings over the past two weeks, senior administration officials said.
The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.
The paper adds Michèle Flournoy, the former under secretary of defense; Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ashton B. Carter, a former deputy secretary of defense are at the top of the list for potential replacement candidates.
Watch a CNN report on the breaking news, AFTER THE JUMP…