Chuck Hagel will be confirmed as the next Defense Secretary, despite pledges from Republican senators to block his confirmation, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday.
“We believe firmly that Hagel will be confirmed as the next Secretary of Defense,” Carney told reporters at the daily White House briefing.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he will block Hagel’s nomination until the White House answers questions about President Obama’s direct involvement in handling the terrorist attack on Benghazi. Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday he had no further communication with Obama the night of the attack once he had informed the president what had happened and been ordered to take every action necessary.
But Carney said the White House has answered those questions already, and that President Obama “was regularly updated and kept apprised of events in Benghazi and the region” on the night of the attack.
Even with Graham and other Republicans promising to block his nomination, there is “at least a majority of senators who would vote to confirm him,” Carney added.