Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democratic leader, said he intends to support Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense, after withholding his backing until he learned more about Hagel’s positions on policy toward Israel and Iran.
Schumer said today in an e-mailed statement that he made his decision after meeting with Hagel yesterday for almost 90 minutes. The senator said he received assurances that Hagel “would do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, including the use of military force,” that he supports sanctions against Iran and that he regrets comments about the influence of what he called the “Jewish lobby.”
“Based on several key assurances provided by Senator Hagel, I am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation,” Schumer said. “I encourage my Senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him.”
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