Carney: Hagel's Position On Israel "In Sync With" Obama's Policies
White House press secretary Jay Carney says Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, has been a "staunch supporter" of Israel. Carney also says that Hagel's position and record "is in sin" with Obama's policies.
JAY CARNEY: It is a routine part of this exercise that nominees are asked about their views on various issues. And on the matters you just raised, Senator Hagel has been a staunch supporter of Israel, of the Israeli-American relationship, of the United Statesâ€™ support for Israelâ€™s security throughout his career. And he has also been, as demonstrated by his record, a supporter of the broad sanctions regime that this President has put into place against Iran -- a sanctions regime that is unprecedented and which as recently as I think last spring, Senator Hagel wrote about favorably and urged Washington as a whole to continue. So I know -- Iâ€™m sure Senator Hagel looks forward to discussing his record in his nomination hearings.
QUESTION: But does the President feel like itâ€™s important that Hagel clarify some of the statements that he made? Even after the Presidentâ€™s announcement today we saw statements from various lawmakers asking him to clarify what he meant.
CARNEY: I think that the process will allow for what it always does, which is a review by the Senate of presidential nominees. I think that Senator Hagelâ€™s record on those issues and so many others demonstrate that he is in sync with the Presidentâ€™s policies. And, on the first issue, letâ€™s be clear. President Obama has, in his administration, overseen the closest, most substantial support for Israelâ€™s defense of any administration in history. And that is a judgment that is not just made by me or others in the Presidentâ€™s administration; itâ€™s a judgment that has been made and expressed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. And that is a policy that will continue under President Obama with all the members of his national security team.