Chuck Hagel said again Thursday that he regrets saying that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here” in an interview with Middle East analyst Aaron David Miller.
“I’ve already said I regret referencing the Jewish lobby,” Hagel said. “I should have said pro-Israel lobby. I think it’s the only time on the record I’ve ever said that.”
He went on to say that he should have used the word “influence” rather than “intimidate — I think would be more appropriate.” And he said in the same interview that he shouldn’t have referred to “the dumb things” that he believes some pro-Israel advocates do, nor should he have described a letter supporting Israeli policy as “stupid.”
“I should not have said ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ because I understand, appreciate there are different views in these things,” Hagel said.
In response to questions from Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Hagel said he opposed unilateral sanctions in the past but now that multilateral sanctions are in place, “unilateral sanctions should be considered.”