Pressure Grows for Hagan to Explain Record on ISIL

Hagan campaign stays mum on claim that she ignored rise of terrorist group

Kay Hagan
Kay Hagan / AP
September 25, 2014

Opponents of Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) are saying that she has been "totally asleep at the wheel" on the issue of the rising terrorist threat coming from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

Hagan sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee and chairs the subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats, and Capabilities.

Despite her positions on these committees, which should be focused on ISIL, a review of her public statements by the Washington Examiner earlier this month showed that it is an issue she has talked about only a few times.

The Washington Free Beacon has reported that Hagan was absent from a hearing with top intelligence officials that focused on ISIL and had a fundraiser planned in New York City only hours after a classified hearing. She refuses to say whether or not she attended the hearing.

Multiple requests for Hagan’s Senate office to clarify her whereabouts on the date in question have been ignored.

An official that handled RSVPs for the New York City fundraiser told the Free Beacon that she was "not at liberty" to discuss attendance at the event.

Hagan’s Republican opponent Thom Tillis has said that Hagan has "not held a single meeting to discuss the threat of ISIS."

The North Carolina Republican Party is now calling on Hagan to "explain why she ignored" ISIL.

"Kay Hagan has ignored her duties as chairwoman of the Emerging Threats Subcommittee," said North Carolina Republican Party spokesman William Allison. "There is absolutely no excuse for not holding a single hearing on ISIS and the crisis in Syria."

In debates with Tillis, Hagan has attempted to distance herself from any blame regarding the rise of ISIL, putting the blame on President Barack Obama instead.

"The president should have weaponized the moderate Syrian rebels earlier," Hagan said. "Without doing that, that has allowed ISIS to grow."

State Republicans are asking Hagan to "point to a single example of where she pressed the president and his administration for an effective response to ISIS."

"Her record shows that she has been asleep at the wheel and has failed to stand up to the president when our national security was under threat," said Allison.