Washington (CNN) - Official documents, correspondence and other papers from the period of time Chuck Hagel held his U.S. Senate seat are closed to public viewing by the archives entrusted to hold them.
The lack of access has created yet another controversy around the embattled nominee to become the next defense secretary, raising questions among some about whether he might be hiding something in those files.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Fifteen of Chuck Hagel’s harshest Republican critics in the Senate are calling on President Obama to withdraw his nomination, arguing “it would be unprecedented for a Secretary of Defense to take office without the broad base of bipartisan support and confidence needed to serve effectively in this critical position.”
In a letter Thursday to the president, the senators didn’t raise any new substantive concerns about Hagel but reiterated long-held complaints about his stances on key issues. In particular, they said his “ambivalence about whether containment or prevention is the best approach” to dealing with a possibly nuclear-armed Iran means “the military option will have near zero credibility” if he were in charge of the Pentagon.
(CNN) - In a letter sent to one of his sharpest critics Saturday, Chuck Hagel stated he could not remember and disavowed a report from 2007 where the Defense Department nominee was characterized as describing the State Department as an "adjunct" to the Israeli government.
That was how a blog post written in 2007 wrote about Hagel's speech on U.S. policy towards Iran. Hagel wrote to his critic Sen. Lindsey Graham, saying "I do not recall making any such statement, or ever making any similar statement. I completely disavow the content of the alleged statement attributed to me." Read that letter provided to CNN by a source here.
(CNN) – Sen. John Barrasso said Sunday that when Republicans held up a vote last week on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary, it wasn't a political ploy, but a sign of serious questions about the nominee.
"I have grave reservations," Barrasso said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think he's been wrong about Iran, wrong about Israel, wrong in Iraq, wrong with nuclear weapons. I absolutely plan to vote against him."
Washington (CNN) - Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, says he is satisfied with answers the White House provided to his and other senators' questions about Benghazi and that he is now in negotiations to get answers about defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel's finances that other GOP senators are seeking.
"I think it was an adequate response, yes," McCain said about the Benghazi matter. "We are working on and having negotiations now trying to smooth this thing out and get it done."
Asked if the satisfactory response on Benghazi was enough for him to vote to break the filibuster McCain indicated not yet.
(CNN) – The Senate failed to garner enough votes Thursday to stop a filibuster against Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel.
Fifty-eight voted to move forward with the nomination, while 40 voted to hold it up. One senator, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, announced present, and Republican Sen. David Vitter missed the vote.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. John McCain - who has the ability to make or break the Hagel nomination - told CNN Thursday he had not received a White House letter with new information on the Benghazi attacks, exacerbating the partisan wrangling ahead of a looming Senate vote on cabinet nominee Chuck Hagel Friday.
A trio of Republican senators - McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham - have said they would hold up the Senate vote on Hagel until the White House answered questions about President Obama's communications with the Libyan government the night of the Benghazi attack.
Washington (CNN) - Chuck Hagel’s bid to lead the Pentagon faces an uncertain outcome on a critical vote Friday as Democrats attempt to break a GOP filibuster of the defense secretary nominee.
Despite optimism from administration officials, who believe Hagel will get the five GOP votes he needs to end the filibuster, senior congressional sources in both parties are less positive. They told CNN they now are not sure he will get the votes.
(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday he thinks a filibuster of Chuck Hagel's nomination for secretary of defense would be appropriate.
The conservative Republican from Kentucky said in an interview to air on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" that his unanswered questions on Hagel – particularly speaking fees Hagel received since leaving the Senate – rise to the level where he might set a roadblock to the former senator's nomination.
Washington (CNN) – In an effort to pressure the Obama administration to answer a lingering question related to the Benghazi attack, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, is reconsidering his pledge not to filibuster the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary, according to his spokesman Brian Rogers.
McCain wants to know if the president ever personally contacted anyone in the Libyan government during the Benghazi attack to seek assistance for the Americans in the compound. McCain, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, have been trying to get the answer for months, said Rogers, and they reiterated their request in a letter to the president on Monday.