Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe on Monday declined to pass judgment on President Barack Obama’s nomination of former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary.
"The Armed Services Committee has a time-tested process to consider nominations, and I am committed to upholding that process," Inhofe, the new ranking GOP member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Tulsa World in a statement
. "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," Inhofe said.
Hagel, also a Republican, served two Senate terms with Inhofe before he retired four years ago. He is under fire for his comments on Israel and for several other positions he has taken against the George W. Bush White House during his tenure.
"I worked with Senator Chuck Hagel in the Senate, and his nomination deserves to be fully vetted," Inhofe told the World.
In addition, Inhofe was just as noncommittal on 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 told the World. "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,” Inhofe added. “I will be looking into his record more closely in the weeks ahead."
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