White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Friday he believes former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who had a rocky confirmation hearing on Thursday, will be confirmed by the Senate as U.S. defense secretary.
Carney told reporters he believed the number of votes in favor of Hagel’s confirmation had increased a day after Hagel came under withering fire from Republican senators for his prior comments on Iraq , Iran and Israel.
“We expect the Senate to confirm Senator Hagel to the position of secretary of defense,” said Carney. He denounced the “stridency” of the Republican attack on Hagel led by Senator John McCain.
Photo: Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be Defense Secretary, on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 31, 2013. Hagel, 66, is a decorated Vietnam War veteran and a former two-term Republican senator.Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque