Sen. Franken calls Hagel 'war hero'

8:17 PM, Jan 7, 2013   |    comments
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EAGAN, Minn. - Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is praising President Barack Obama's pick of former Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary.

Franken calls Hagel, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, "a war hero." And Franken is promising to listen to his testimony.

Some Democrats have criticized Hagel for saying in 1998 that a nominee for an ambassador post was "openly, aggressively gay."

Franken, a Democrat, says Hagel has apologized for those comments, and he doesn't think that's a reason to deny him the post. Franken also says he's interested in hearing Hagel's comments on Iran's nuclear program.

In a statement, Minnesota's other senator, Democrat Amy Klobuchar, says Hagel "has a long record of service to his country," and she looks forward to considering his confirmation.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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