Hagel Nomination Hearing: Jim Inhofe Hits Hagel Hard

We're only a few minutes into Hagel's hearing, and the gloves are off. 

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) ripped into Hagel before he even had a chance to speak, saying Hagel would "embolden our enemies and endanger our allies" and that "he is the wrong person to lead the Pentagon."

Inhofe said that Hagel's recent "willingness to walk-back or alter his positions for the sake of political expediency" is "deeply troubling," and said that the Secretary of Defense nominee's "record is deeply troubling and out of the mainstream."

In a Sunday interview, Inhofe elaborated on his views on Hagel.

"I like Chuck Hagel. He was a war hero and he made his sacrifices more than I did in the service," Inhofe said. "But philosophically he is right along with Obama and I can see Obama saying, 'Well here is a conservative Republican former senator who agrees with me on all this so this is bipartisan.' Well I don't want that label of bipartisanship to follow on all of his policy toward North Korea, Syria, Iran, and even Egypt. So I am very much concerned about giving him that added impetus to do the things that I think are destroying America."

"You know, four years ago I think I was the only one yelling and screaming and was upset because the first trip that our president, newly elected president four years ago, Obama, did was to go to Egypt and make all of the entrees onto the terrorists. And I just don't understand how it can get worse than that but I think it will get worse," Inhofe continued.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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