WASHINGTON - The White House has told some senior members of Congress to expect President Obama to nominate Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, according to a knowledgeable source.
Another source with knowledge of the nomination called it "locked down."
The timing is uncertain, but other sources have told CNN it could come early next week.
A Republican, Chuck Hagel represented the state of Nebraska in the US Senate from 1997 until January 3, 2009 when he retired.
The White House has previously said that the president has made no final decisions. One source told CNN Thursday that the president was "mulling" over appointments in Hawaii this week.
A White House source told CNN's Wolf Blitzer the president "has not offered the job to anyone."
In an interview on NBC December 30, Obama allowed he had not then made a decision on who to nominate, but said in making the choice his "number one criteria will be who's going to do the best job in helping to secure America."
"I've served with Chuck Hagel. I know him. He is a patriot," Obama said on "Meet the Press. "He is somebody who has done extraordinary work both in the United States Senate. Somebody who served this country with valor in Vietnam. And is somebody who's currently serving on my Intelligence Advisory Board and doing an outstanding job. "
The source with knowledge of the nominations adds that White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew is likely to be nominated as Treasury Secretary, perhaps as early as next week. This source says that while Lew is expected to be confirmed, there is some consternation in the business community about Lew, who is known as a "numbers guy" but has "little or no market and business experience."
The administration is believed to be searching for a person with business expertise to run the Commerce Department, but there seems to be no first-in-line name circulating at this point. Gene Sperling is expected to stay as Director of the National Economic Council.
Former Washington state governor Christine Gregoire, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm are also being considered for cabinet posts.
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