U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after meeting with President Obama's nominee for secretary of defense, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.):
"My meeting with Senator Hagel this afternoon was thorough and constructive, and addressed my concerns over his past comments. I was encouraged by his strong commitments to Israel's security, to keeping all options open in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability, and to embracing tolerance and inclusion both in our society and our military. We also had a good, far-reaching discussion of our shared interests in Africa, in balancing security and liberty, and in an enduring and engaging role for the National Guard. I believe Senator Hagel will be a strong and effective secretary of defense, and I will be proud to vote for his confirmation."