Murkowski meets with Hagel ahead of hearing

Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she had a productive meeting with President Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary.

Murkowski met with former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel on Wednesday. Murkowski’s spokesman says Murkowski is expected to make up her mind about Hagel’s nomination after his confirmation hearing Jan. 31.

Murkowski, in a news release, said she worked effectively with Hagel for years in the Senate and appreciated his “skeptical brand of thinking and straight talk” when they served together.

Concerns about Hagel’s nomination have centered on whether he is sufficiently pro-Israel and his stand on gay rights.

Murkowski says she told Hagel she would listen carefully during the upcoming hearing as he makes his case for the job.



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