Former Senator Chuck Hagel (R., Neb.) is having a rough day in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Republicans remain wary of supporting his nomination to be the next secretary of defense.
“It doesn’t help anybody when they refuse to answer questions,” Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) told reporters outside the Senate chamber. “It’s very rare.”
McCain, who added that he remained undecided on whether to support Hagel’s nomination, had challenged the former senator on his opposition to the 2007 troop surge in Iraq. Hagel repeatedly refused to say whether he was right to oppose it.
Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas), who aggressively questioned Hagel about controversial remarks he had made on Al Jazeera, suggested he may put a hold on Hagel’s nomination. Cruz noted Hagel’s failure to disclosure requested documents relating to hundreds of speeches he has given over the years, as well as information about the organizations paying him to speak, and their sources of funding.
“In my view, the committee lacks adequate information to vote on his nomination,” Cruz told reporters. “I think we should do everything necessary to ensure that the committee and the full Senate has full disclosure, and an adequate time to review that disclosure.”