Hagel Takes Helm at Pentagon After Bitter Fight

Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of defense, Jan. 31, 2013.
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Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., questioned how the confirmation process devolved into a character assassination in which Hagel was accused of "having secret ties with our enemies."

"I sincerely hope that the practice of challenging nominations with innuendo and inference, rather than facts and figures, was an aberration and not a roadmap," she said in a statement after the vote.

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