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How Hagel Won Schumer's Support For Defense Secretary

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Newscom

At the White House Monday, Schumer also met with Obama, telling him that Hagel's reassurances on issues regarding Israel and Iran would be central to his decision. As it turns out, they were enough: Schumer called Hagel Tuesday morning to say he would support him and sent his good wishes on the upcoming confirmation hearings.

"Based on several key assurances provided by Senator Hagel, I am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation," Schumer said in a lengthy statement released after the phone call. "I encourage my Senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him."

Schumer said Hagel convinced him he fully supports Obama's policies with regard to sanctions against Iran, refusing to negotiate with Hezbollah and Hamas, Israel's right to retaliate militarily against its enemies and quashing the remains of "don't ask, don't tell."

"In general, I believe any President deserves latitude in selecting his own advisors," the New York senator said. "While the Senate confirmation process must be allowed to run its course, it is my hope that Senator Hagel's thorough explanations will remove any lingering controversy regarding his nomination."

About The Author

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

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