(CNN) - President Barack Obama is planning to nominate Sen. Max Baucus as U.S. ambassador to China, a Democratic official told CNN.
The Montana Democrat is retiring from Congress.
A longtime Baucus friend and confidante speaking on condition of anonymity told CNN's John King the Senator informed him directly that the China appointment was true.
A spokesman for Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and a close friend of Baucus, confirmed to CNN's Paul Steinhauser that Hatch told the Washington Post that Baucus is the ambassadorial pick.
Baucus had no comment when asked about the appointment.