WASHINGTON, December 3 (Sputnik) – The White House would not confirm whether former US deputy defense secretary Ashton Carter was US President Barack Obama's top nominee as the new defense secretary despite various media reports of his nomination, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at a press briefing Tuesday.
"He [Ashton Carter] is somebody who did serve the president and the American people well previously in this [Obama] administration," Earnest said. "But I don't have any additional insight about the [nomination] process or the people involved in the process or even any additional information about the timing on that process."
Although Earnest did not confirm whether Carter was President Obama's top nominee, the spokesman spoke highly of the former deputy defense secretary, saying that Carter's previous role was one that qualified him for the defense secretary vacancy.
"He [Ashton Carter] fulfilled some of the criteria that we have discussed in the past, he is someone that certainly deserves and has demonstrated strong bipartisan support for his previous service in government," Earnest added.
"He's someone that does have a detailed understanding of the way that the department of defense works and I personally am a pretty strong advocate of people who have previously performed well in deputy roles being promoted to the top job," Earnest noted.
Carter served as deputy secretary of defense under Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel, who resigned from the Pentagon last week, but unlike his predecessors, does not have any military experience.
Chuck Hagel served as the defense secretary since February 2013 and will remain in his position until replaced by the US Senate.