Washington: Former Sen. Chuck Hagel will in all probability be nominated as secretary of Defense by President Barack Obama, according to reports from the American media.
The Daily Beast and NBC News say the nomination will likely come Monday or Tuesday. NBC News said the decision had not been finalized.
Other top candidates had included former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, the Huffington Post reports.
Hagel had come under intense criticism from pro-Israel interest groups for past comments.
Drawing particular fire was a quote from Hagel’s 2008 book, wherein he said, “I`m not an Israeli senator. I`m a United States senator.” Hagel added, "I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.
If I go run for Senate in Israel, I’ll do that." Hagel had also drawn criticism from the LGBT community over comments made during the 1998 confirmation hearing for the first openly gay ambassador, James Hormel.
At the time, he called Hormel ‘openly, aggressively gay’ but has since apologized for the comment.