Flournoy Removes Her Name From Defense Secretary Consideration

Image: US-POLITICS-DEFENSE
(FILES)This November 24, 2014 combination file photo shows L-R: former under-secretary of defense Michele Flournoy, Senator Jack Reed Democrat from Rhode Island and former deputy secretary of defense Ashton Carter. The three are possible choices to replace Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who is resigning November 24, after criticism of the campaigns in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State group. The 68-year-old former senator and Vietnam war veteran was to join President Barack Obama at the White House later in the day to jointly announce his departure. AFP PHOTO / FILESFILES/AFP/Getty ImagesFILES / AFP - Getty Images

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Michele Flournoy has told the White House that she is not a candidate for Secretary of Defense, officials confirm to NBC News. Flournoy has written a letter to the board of her organization, the Center for New American Security, confirming that she has asked not to be considered to succeed outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

President Barack Obama talked to Flournoy Monday when she personally told him she should not be considered. She told the Obama her decision is due to family reasons, NBC News has learned. She cited those same concerns in her letter to the the think tank that she founded in 2007.

The fact that Mr. Obama spoke to her personally indicates that he likely offered her the job - or at least wanted her to take the post.

Flournoy was one of the runner-ups for the post when Hagel was nominated. She had previously been the highest-ranking woman at the Department of Defense as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from February 2009 to February 2012.

Flournoy had said at the time she was stepping down to spend more time with her 3 children.

- Andrea Mitchell

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