Reports: Obama Expected to Nominate Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary Next Week

FILE – This Nov. 1, 2012 file photo shows former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel speaking in Omaha, Neb. Credit: AP

It looks like President Barack Obama will nominate former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as the next defense secretary sometime next week, according to reports by Fox News, NBC News and Foreign Policy.

Despite catching heat from both Republicans and Democrats over past statements, one Democratic source told Fox News that “Hagel is it.” The announcement could come as soon as Monday.

Pro-Israel lobbyists expressed concern about a comment Hagel made in 2008 about not being intimated by the “Jewish lobby” unlike others in the Senate. Obama administration officials have denied that Hagel is in any way anti-Isreal.

Additionally, Hagel made an anti-gay comment about a ambassadorial nominee during the Clinton administration, saying he was “openly, aggressively gay” and may hinder his ability to do his job effectively. He has since apologized profusely for his controversial remarks.

“I’ve served with Chuck Hagel, I know him. He’s a patriot, he’s somebody that’s done extraordinary work both in the United States Senate — he’s served this country with valor in Vietnam — and somebody who’s currently serving on my intelligence advisory board and doing an outstanding job,” Obama said of Hagel during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

 

Featured image via AP