A Democratic official said Jones, the former marine commandant and commander of US and Nato forces in Europe, was Obama's pick to head the National Security Council.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity and it was unclear if Jones had accepted the job.

Politico also reported that retired Admiral Dennis Blair, the former commander of the US Pacific Command and a veteran of the NSC, CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff, is expected to be named the director of national intelligence.

Obama is expected to formally announce their appointments next week.