White House: Senate Badgered Chuck Hagel

He did a “fine job,” say Press Secretary Jay Carney.

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blasted some Republican Senators for the way they questioned Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Thursday.

“The news clips that have dominated TV reporting on this…largely represent badgering by questioners over issues like why did you disagree with me over Iraq?” he told reporters Friday at the White House.

Carney said Hagel did a “fine job,” adding “”he conducted himself appropriately and well,” under questioning.

Carney also expressed surprise that they devoted so few questions to the war in Afghanistan, invoking Sen. John McCain’s infamous comment about keeping U.S. troops in Iraq for 100 years, adding “instead they wanted to relitigate the past.”

Hagel’s performance was widely panned by the political class, with multiple stumbles and a dour and passive demeanor that displeased even some supporters of his nomination.

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