Revelations that the Obama administration’s choice to be the next ambassador to Iraq engaged in a torrid extramarital affair with a Wall Street Journal reporter have put his nomination in serious jeopardy, according to multiple sources close to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is currently considering the appointment.
Brett McGurk, a former National Security Council member who oversaw security negotiations in Iraq, apparently engaged in a sexual relationship with Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon in 2008 while the two were in Iraq, according to a series of emails posted on a hacker website and reported on by the Free Beacon yesterday.
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The shocking details contained in the emails—including McGurk's references to "blue balls," a term for sexual frustration—leave open the possibility that McGurk may have lured the reporter into a close relationship by enticing her with insider information.
Multiple sources close to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told the Free Beacon that the revelations raise major questions about McGurk’s fitness for the ambassadorship.
"Sen. Inhofe [R., Okla.] is concerned about some of the things he’s heard about this nominee," Jared Young, Inhofe’s communications director, told the Free Beacon. "These emails and other news stories" raise vital questions, he said.
"Until these items he’s concerned about are cleared up, we will not meet with Mr. McGurk," Young said.
"This is having a serious and immediate impact," added another aide to a Republican member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "It's looking pretty bad for him right now."
Said still another top aide to a Republican member of the foreign relations committee: "If the allegations are proven true, I don’t see how the nomination can go forward at this point."
The newly released emails detailing McGurks relationship with Chon make the nominating process more complicated, as lawmakers and others figure out how to address the sensitive issue publicly.
Most offices contacted for comment by the Free Beacon for comment did not respond. The State Department had no comment when asked about the emails.