A new group that’s joined in the campaign against former Sen. Chuck HagelChuck HagelWho will temper Trump after he takes office? Hagel: I’m ‘encouraged’ by Trump’s Russia outreach Want to 'drain the swamp'? Implement regular order MORE (R-Neb.), President Obama’s nominee to be the next Defense secretary, is airing TV ads targeting vulnerable Democratic senators.
The ads will run in the states of Sens. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (D-Ark.), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (D-La.), Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock MORE (D-N.C.), Mark BegichMark BegichThe future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map Trump campaign left out of Alaska voter guide MORE (D-Alaska) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.).
The group's spokesman, Ryan Williams, would not say how much money was going into the ad campaign, but said the ads will run on broadcast and cable in each state.
Americans for a Strong Defense is the latest anti-Hagel group to jump into the campaign against his nomination. The American Future Fund, Emergency Committee for Israel and Log Cabin Republicans have all run advertisements against the former Nebraska senator.
About a half-dozen Republican senators have said they will oppose his nomination. No Democrats have come out against Hagel, but many have raised concerns about his positions on Israel, Iran and gay rights.
The American Future Fund put out an ad against Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the No. 3 Senate Democrat known for his pro-Israel views, after he said he’d back Hagel.
The Americans for a Strong Defense ads claim that Hagel wants “an end to our nuclear program” and “devastating defense cuts.” They ask viewers to tell the targeted senator to vote against Hagel’s confirmation.
A source close to the Hagel confirmation said the ad was “demonstrably false.”
“Hagel has made it clear that he is committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, for example,” the source said. “But this ad purposefully distorts his record to try to score cheap political points."
Hagel continues to meet with senators ahead of his confirmation hearing next week. Sen. John McCainJohn McCainWhy the GOP cannot sweep its Milo scandal under the rug New York Knicks owner gave 0K to pro-Trump group Hannity apologizes for sharing 'inaccurate' story about McCain MORE (R-Ariz.) said he was meeting with Hagel Tuesday afternoon. McCain said he was going to ask Hagel about his statements on Israel and opposition to the Iraq surge.