AP sources: Biden picks Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense
December 8, 2020
WASHINGTON - President-elect Joe Biden will nominate retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin to be secretary of defense, according to four people familiar with the decision. If confirmed by the Senate, Austin would be the first Black leader of the Pentagon.
Biden selected Austin over the longtime front-runner candidate, Michele Flournoy, a former senior Pentagon official and Biden supporter who would have been the first woman to serve as defense secretary. Biden also had considered Jeh Johnson, a former Pentagon general counsel and former secretary of homeland defense.
The impending nomination of Austin was confirmed by four people with knowledge of the pick who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the selection hadn't been formally announced. Biden offered and Austin accepted the post on Sunday, according to a person familiar with the process.