Inhofe noncommittal on secretary of defense nomination
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Monday, January 07, 2013
1/07/13 at 1:59 PM
Related story: Obama taps homeland security aide to head CIA
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was noncommittal Monday in his first public statement on the nomination of former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense.
"The Armed Services Committee has a time-tested process to consider nominations, and I am committed to upholding that process," said Inhofe, the new ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I am aware of the serious concerns about some of his policy positions, his record, and some of his comments that have been publically reported. I will be seeking clarification from him about these concerns as his nomination proceeds."
Hagel, a Republican, served two terms in the Senate with Inhofe before retiring from office four years ago. Something of a maverick politically, Hagel has been criticized recently for not being sympathetic enough to Israel.
"I worked with Senator Chuck Hagel in the Senate, and his nomination deserves to be fully vetted," Inhofe said.
Inhofe was also noncommital about the nomination of John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
"The Obama administration has an abysmal record of national security and intelligence leaks when it benefits the President’s agenda," Inhofe said in his statement. "The tragedy in Benghazi still poses many questions that have not been adequately answered for those of us in Congress and for the American people.
"As John Brennan’s nomination goes forward, the American people expect us to get answers on these and other subjects related to his nomination. I will be looking into his record more closely in the weeks ahead."
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe at the State Chamber of Oklahoma back in August. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World File