During Republican Chuck Hagel's defense secretary confirmation hearing on Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) chose to use a large portion of his five minutes of questioning to play a YouTube video of Hagel in an Al Jazeera interview from 2009.
Hagel's original statement at a Senate session held on July 31, 2006 described the conflict in Israel as "a sickening slaughter on both sides" that Hagel said "must end." However, Cruz highlighted Hagel's "sickening slaughter" remark and his agreement with a caller who referenced "war crimes."
Hagel, a former senator from Nebraska, navigated questions from his own party regarding his record, including his stance on the defense budget, nuclear weapons and the Middle East. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Hagel that how he answered questions on past comments over the surge in Iraq would "have an impact on my judgement as to whether to vote for your confirmation or not."
If confirmed, Hagel would be the first Vietnam veteran to serve as defense secretary, according to the Associated Press.