Report: Republican Hagel Being Considered For Defense Secretary

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Former Sen. Chuck Hagel speaks during the 2010 Atlantic Council awards dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on April 28, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Kris Connor/Getty Images)

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel speaks during the 2010 Atlantic Council awards dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on April 28, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Kris Connor/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A former Republican senator is reportedly being considered as the next secretary of defense.

Reuters reports that a senior administration official claims former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel is on President Barack Obama’s short list to replace Leon Panetta when he steps down.

Hagel, who served in the Senate from 1997 until 2009, reportedly met with Obama this week to discuss a possible position on the president’s national security team. Hagel was critical of the Bush administration during his Senate tenure, especially over the Iraq war.

The administration source tells Reuters that he is expected to nominate his new secretary of defense and state within the next two weeks.

It is widely believed Obama will nominate U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as the next secretary of state.

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