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Believe It or Not: Hagel Disavows ‘Jewish State Dept.’ Remark


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The saga of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense added a new chapter Sunday with South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham telling Fox News that Hagel did not “recall” making a comment that the State Department “has become adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office.”

Based on a post on a blog, Republicans have charged he made the remark in a speech in 2007 at RutgersUniversity.

Sen. Graham told Fox News, “I got a letter back from Sen. Hagel in response to my question, did you say that, and do you believe that? And the letter said he did not recall saying that. He disavows that statement.

“if in fact that’s true, that would end the matter,” Graham said. “I just take him at his word unless something new comes along.”

Graham was one of the Republican senators who last week blocked prevented a Senate vote on the nomination, but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who also joined the anti-Hagel bloc, told NBC News’ Meet The Press, “We will have a vote when we get back, and I am confident that Senator Hagel will probably have the votes necessary to be confirmed.”

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