Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said that he "had no choice" in the vote to confirm Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who came under intense scrutiny for what critics called his animosity towards Israel and close-door dislike for the Jewish state.
While marching on Sunday in the Israeli Day Parade in New York City, Schumer was questioned by two onlookers about his support for the controversial Hagel.
"Why did you support Hagel?" one inquisitor asks Schumer, who was walking down the street with a bullhorn and a sash that read, "honorary grand marshal."
‘Because we had no choice," Schumer responds. "You want to give the president a poke in the eye just when we need him? No."
"He’s not a supporter of Israel," the questioner responds to Schumer, who becomes frustrated.
"The bottom line is you ask the Israelis what they want," Schumer said.
"They did not want him," insists one of the individuals on camera.
"Ok. You’ll see," Schumer responds before walking away and screaming into his bullhorn, "Hello everybody!"
The appointment of Hagel as Secretary of Defense stirred outrage among lawmakers and supporters of Israel, who maintained that the former Nebraska senator has long harbored ill feelings towards the Jewish state.
Schumer’s response to questions about Hagel on Sunday indicate that the Obama administration gave its allies little say in the matter and forced them to accept Hagel despite widespread concerns.