Retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane reportedly declined Donald Trump’s offer to serve as secretary of defense due to personal reasons.
“I was asked to serve, but I’m not able to,” Keane told NPR Sunday. “I have some personal issues surrounding the death of my wife recently, and I explained all that to Mr. Trump, and he was very gracious and understanding, and quite supportive.”
Keane’s wife, Theresa, died in the summer after a 14-year struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Keane, a key architect of the Iraq surge, was a major influence on Hillary Clinton’s military policy, according to an April article in the New York Times Magazine.
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Keane told NPR that Trump asked him who else he would recommend for secretary of defense. Keane said he suggested retired generals James Mattis and David Petraeus for the job.
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