McCain Blasts Hagel

• December 18, 2012 4:39 pm


Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) slammed former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, who is being discussed as a possible defense secretary nominee, over comments Hagel made in reference to "the Jewish lobby," according to Politico Pro.

Sen. John McCain said Tuesday he "strongly disagrees" with past remarks made by former Sen. Chuck Hagel, but that he would wait until potential confirmation hearings before taking a position on whether to vote for Hagel if he were nominated to become secretary of Defense.

McCain, the outgoing top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked about Hagel’s onetime allusion to "the Jewish lobby."

"Well, of course I strongly disagree with such comments and I know of no such ‘Jewish lobby.' I know that there's strong support for Israel here, but I know of no Jewish lobby. I hope he would identify who that is," McCain told reporters.

McCain also indicated that Hagel’s nomination would be judged by his entire career, which includes opposition to the successful surge in Iraq.

Hagel has been attacked by the Anti-Defamation League, Democratic operatives, and national security experts in both parties. He has also come under fire for sitting on an advisory board for Deutsche Bank, which violated United States sanctions on Iran.