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Ret. Army Gen. Jack Keane Says He Declined Offer To Be Defense Secretary

Retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane was seen visiting Trump Tower earlier this week; he tells NPR that he declined an offer to become Defense Secretary.

President-elect Donald Trump asked him to serve as Secretary of Defense, retired four-star general Jack Keane tells NPR's Rachel Martin — but Keane declined the offer, citing personal reasons. Keane says he recommended retired generals James Mattis and David Petraeus for the job.

Mattis and Petraeus are seen as the front-runners to lead the Defense Department — but in light of recent reports that portrayed Mattis and Keane as Trump's top choices, Mattis would now seem to be the top pick.

Mattis is one of several possible Cabinet office-holders who've been visiting Trump at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., this weekend. The others include Mitt Romney and two possible candidates to lead the Department of Education: former Washington, D.C., schools chief Michelle Rhee and former Michigan GOP chairwoman Betsy DeVos.

Trump is meeting with more potential appointees and advisers Sunday; the list includes: conservative writer John Gray; Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach; investor (and rumored Commerce candidate) Wilbur Ross; Gov. Chris Christie; Rudy Giuliani; BET founder Robert Johnson; and investment firm executive David McCormick.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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