White House press secretary Jay Carney said he thought defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel answered questions "appropriately" and did "a fine job" at Thursday's confirmation hearing, adding what he felt was unfair television coverage of the many tense exchanges that occurred between Hagel and his questioners.
"If you take all the news clips, not the whole performance, but the news clips that have dominated television reporting on this, they have focused on a series of exchanges that I think, by any estimation, largely represent badgering by questioners over issues like, ‘Why did you disagree with me over Iraq?" Carney said.
Hagel's performance at his hearing was widely panned. He appeared unprepared for many of the questions about previous controversial statements, stated Iran had a legitimate government, and expressed his support for the Obama's administration's position on containment of Iran's nuclear program, when no such administration position existed.