U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will nominate retired General James Mattis to lead the Pentagon, two media outlets reported on Thursday, but a Trump spokesman said no decision had been made.
The Washington Post said Trump had chosen Mattis and that an announcement was likely to be made early next week. CNN also reported that Trump had settled on Mattis. Reuters could not immediately confirm the planned nomination.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said on Twitter that “no decision has been made yet with regard to Secretary of Defense.”
Mattis is a revered figure in the Marine Corps known for his tough talk, distrust of Iran and battlefield experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The choice of a seasoned military strategist would be another indication that Trump, a Republican, intends to steer U.S. foreign policy away from Democratic President Barack Obama’s increased reliance on U.S. allies to fight Islamist militants and to help deter Russian and Chinese aggression in Europe and Asia.