(CNN) – In his weekly address Friday, President Obama praised the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team for representing "America so well" in the World Cup, and gave a special mention to goalkeeper Tim Howard.
"I know there’s actually a petition on the White House website to make Tim Howard the next Secretary of Defense," he joked. "Chuck Hagel’s got that spot right now, but if there is a vacancy, I promise to think about it."
(CNN) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel returned to Congress on Wednesday to defend the deal that resulted in the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying the agreement to release five Afghan detainees was "fully consistent with U.S. law, our nation's interests and our military's core values."
"The President's decision to move forward with the transfer of these detainees was a tough call. I supported it, I stand by it," the former lawmaker told the House Armed Services Committee.
The release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was detained by the Taliban for nearly five years, included a heavy dose of partisan politics Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after he was securely in American hands.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice was once again in the line of fire on the political talk shows, just as she was after the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
Bergdahl’s release has ignited the debate over negotiating with groups the United States has determined to be terrorists.
(CNN) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Jake Tapper that the scandal surrounding the VA involving delayed care for several veterans in need is upsetting.
"It makes me sick to my stomach," Hagel said. "Because it is a clear responsibility we have as a country, as a people, to take care of these men and women and their families who sacrificed so much."
(CNN) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave his support to embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Sunday as he has come under scrutiny over allegations of deadly delays in health care treatment for veterans.
While Hagel said accountability was paramount, the potential for a backlog treating returning veterans should have been seen.
Updated 1:37 p.m. ET, 5/11/2014
(CNN) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that he's open to a review of the U.S. military's policy prohibiting transgender individuals from serving.
"I do think it continually should be reviewed," Hagel told ABC's Martha Raddatz.
(CNN) – Sen. Lindsey Graham said the Obama administration's proposed budget "guts our defense" and ignores the need for military preparation for future conflicts.
The South Carolina Republican told CNN's Candy Crowley Sunday that if the United States were to need to take immediate military action in an international conflict, that situation would drain defense resources.
Washington (CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, whose husband is in the National Guard and recently returned from a one-year deployment to Afghanistan, blasted the Obama administration's decision to make cuts to the reserve military force.
"It really is a slap in the face to anyone who has served over this past decade multiple times and left their life to do this," the Republican governor said Monday. "We have active duty, but the active duty hasn't felt the pain that the National Guard has felt, and this is not how you show your thanks."
(CNN) - Even old friends have occasional disagreements.
In a rare joint appearance at the Munich Security Conference, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel dismissed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's opposition to renewing fast-track trade authority and predicted that the bill will ultimately pass in spite of Reid's opposition.
(CNN) - The Iraq war is over and combat operations in Afghanistan end this year, but there's no evident peace dividend for the U.S. military.
Spending cuts from Washington budget deals have launched a transition started under former Defense Secretary Robert Gates to what he described as a leaner military shaped to deal with 21st Century challenges such as confronting terrorist-armed militias rather than full-fledged foreign armies.
CNN's live, comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starts at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday. Go to CNN.com for complete coverage or take it with you on your iPhone, iPad or Android.