(CNN) - Just hours after President Barack Obama's formal nomination of Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense, Hagel joined current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon for dinner.
In Tuesday afternoon's briefing, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little reaffirmed Panetta's support for the former senator from Nebraska. When asked for details on the dinner between Panetta and Hagel, Little tried side stepping with a listing of the dinner's menu that included "corn chowder, filet mignon, and chocolate cake."
Washington (CNN) – Supporters of Chuck Hagel formed an organization to fight back against attacks directed at the former Republican senator, but for now have decided not to launch a political campaign style defense of the new Secretary of Defense nominee.
The pro-Hagel group, Americans for Strategic Leadership, is headed by former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Burt, who has worked alongside Hagel in several foreign policy capacities, confirmed a source close to the group. A representative with Americans for Strategic Leadership would only speak about the group on the condition of anonymity.
(CNN) - Responding to criticism of his nomination as Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel said Monday that opponents have "completely distorted" his record in a way that's "astounding."
Now that he's been officially announced by the president, he said he has "an opportunity to set the record straight."
(CNN) – He forged his views of war and the military as a young man in mine-plagued fields of Vietnam. Now Chuck Hagel may become the first Vietnam veteran and first enlisted soldier to serve as U.S. defense secretary.
He would also be one of the few Pentagon chiefs ever to have been wounded in war, President Barack Obama said in announcing his selection on Monday to take over for outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.FULL STORY
(CNN) – President Barack Obama said Monday he will nominate former Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican, to become Defense Secretary and tapped his chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Hagel will be a "champion" for members of America's military, Obama said in announcing the former Nebraska senator as his choice to succeed Leon Panetta as secretary of defense.
Washington (CNN) – A senior administration official offered some sharp pushback Monday on Sen. Lindsey Graham's comments about the president's choice in Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary.
Graham made headlines Sunday when he blasted Hagel as an "in-your-face" choice during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union." The South Carolina senator labeled Hagel a "controversial" pick by President Obama and didn't rule out staging a filibuster to prevent a vote on Hagel's nomination.
(CNN) - While President Barack Obama announced former Sen. Chuck Hagel as his pick to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a number of groups and political figures are responding with a range of reactions, from outright opposition to hesitant backing to full support.
Hagel's nomination on Monday has caused a stir from some on both sides of the aisle, with some of the former Republican senator's statements and positions relating to the gay community and foreign policy coming under the spotlight.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama plans to announce former Sen. Chuck Hagel as his nominee to become the next defense secretary and Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Adviser John Brennan as the nominee for CIA director on Monday, administration officials told CNN.
Two sources close to Hagel have also been told to expect the defense secretary announcement on Monday, and additional sources - a senior administration official and a source familiar with the nomination - said Obama spoke to Hagel Sunday by telephone.
(CNN) – Republican lawmakers voiced staunch opposition Sunday to their former colleague Chuck Hagel, who is expected to be nominated Monday to be President Barack Obama's next secretary of defense.
Hagel has taken withering criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike since his name was first floated as a potential successor to current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta more than a month ago. Republicans have struck upon comments in a 2007 interview that some perceive as anti-Jewish, when Hagel said the "Jewish lobby intimidated lawmakers."
Washington (CNN) – Former members of Congress and foreign policy professionals are coming to the defense of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, who’s expected to be tapped as the nominee for Defense Secretary.
Known as the Bipartisan Group, they have letters published in several publications defending Hagel, who has come under harsh criticism from some members of Congress and conservative activists over past positions not supporting sanctions against Iran and what some of them consider a dovish defense point of view. Also some pro-Israel lobbyists believe he has not been supportive enough of the Jewish state. Hagel also opposed the surge of troops in Iraq pushed by the Bush administration.