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Has Kirk's Office Been Running a Secret Anti-Hagel Campaign?

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call
A top aide to Kirk, center, has been sending emails knocking Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel to a wide list of staffers and some reporters.

It’s notable that Goldberg’s first email was sent in December, weeks before Kirk, who missed nearly an entire year in Washington after suffering a stroke, returned to the Capitol and well before Hagel was officially tapped by Obama.

A selection of the subject lines include: “Breaking: Chuck Hagel Once Opposed Nominee Because He Was ‘Openly Aggressively Gay” (12/20/2012); “ICYMI: Chuck Hagel’s History of Homophobia” (01/01/2013); “Iran State TV Praises Obama’s ‘anti-Israel’ Hagel Selection” (01/06/2013); “Must Watch: Maddow Slams Hagel’s ‘Akin-esque’ Views on Rape, Abortion, LGBT in the Military” (01/08/2013); “ICYMI: Hagel’s group sees Iran as a future ally” (01/09/2013).

According to one source, at least four Democratic foreign policy staffers have been receiving the notes and multiple GOP sources confirmed that their foreign policy aides have been receiving them as well. Another source indicated that the anti-Hagel emails actually began earlier in the month, but those missives were not among those reviewed by CQ Roll Call.

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