TODAY | February 01, 2013
>>> put to a vote some time last week after hagel was met with sharp questions on either side of the aisle. capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell has more on that. kelly , good morning.
>> reporter: good morning, matt. the white house is not sounding any alarm bells. officials do say this was not a perfect performance from chuck hagel who, as you point out, is a republican who spent 12 years here in the senate representing nebraska. that should have made him very familiar with hearing that can get contentious, but it didn't turn out that way. respected for his decorated combat service in vietnam, but repeatedly pressed about his views on today's hot spots , even democrats took issue when chuck hagel referred to iran as a legitimate government.
>> i do not see iran or the iranian government as a legitimate government. i want your thoughts on that.
>> what i meant to say is it's recognizable, is recognized at the united nations .
>> reporter: both parties wanted reassurance on israel.
>> i'm a strong supporter of israel. i have been. i will continue to be.
>> reporter: while hagel had done prep sessions in advanced, he appeared unprepared when challenged on past statements, like saying the jewish lobby intimidates on capitol hill .
>> name one person, in your opinion, who is intimidated by the israeli lobby in the united states senate .
>> well, first --
>> name one.
>> i don't know.
>> reporter: another old friend wanted hagel to concede that he had been wrong to oppose the iraq troop surge .
>> are you going to answer the question, senator hagel ? the question is, were you right or wrong? that's a pretty straightforward question.
>> i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer.
>> reporter: some republicans questioned hagel 's judgment on national security .
>> why do you think that the iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination?
>> i feel like i want to apologize for some of the tone and demeanor.
>> reporter: while democrats suggested hagel was given a hard time .
>> always enjoy being before the senate.
>> reporter: and he enjoyed that for nearly eight hours on the hot seat . he still has some more homework to turn in to fellow senators. while a number of republicans -- hagel is a republican -- say they will not support him, democrats are supporting him. therefore, the white house says they don't think his nomination is in trouble.
>> kelly o'donnell, thank you very much.