msnbc | February 01, 2013
>> hagel took a beating during his confirmation hearing yesterday on the topics of iraq and iran. but another concern was his stance on gay rights . back in 1998 , hagel helped block names hormel 's nomination as u.s. ambassador telling a newspaper that gays should not represent america, especially, quote, openly, aggressively gay like hormel . we fast forward and hormel is now putting his support behind chuck hagel . ambassador hormel joins me live from san francisco . great to have you here with me this morning. when we talk on the heels on the op-ed you wrote this week, saying hagel has taken stock regarding disparaging remarks he made about me, he issued an apology, times and minds have changed. but we remind everybody, sir, back in december, you did not accept that apology, telling the " washington post ," i thought this so-called apology which i haven't received but which was made public had the air of being a defensive move on his part. so he has not apologized to you, at least as far as i know, has not apologized to you in person. so why change your viewpoint now in this latest op-ed?
>> well, thank you for asking that. because i've had the opportunity to examine the circumstances, and what i find is a person who has done something which is unique, if not -- well, may not be unique. but it's unique in my mind. to issue an apology, proactively, at the time when he is being considered for one of the highest posts in the united states government . you don't hear apologies coming from people in washington. you hear suedo apologies, you know, i'm sorry if. but there was no if in this one. he spoke directly of his inappropriate comments in a piece in the " omaha world herald " 14 1/2 years ago. and having cleared the air of that, he made very strong statements as to his support for equality, for all citizens, including members of the armed services and their families. and it seemed to me that having that on the table made it something that he would not be able to back away from.
>> sir, as you have said in that op-ed that times and minds have changed and we now have the full repeal under president obama of don't ask, don't tell. and chuck hagel got on the record yesterday, talking about the support he has of that. take a listen.
>> i'm fully committed to implementing the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. and doing everything possible under current law to provide equal benefits to the families of all -- all our service members.
>> so, sir, hagel has said military chaplains will not be forced to perform or oversee marriage equality ceremonies. but do you think that hagel has satisfied the concerns of what have been legitimate ones from the lgbt community , especially given the fact that the president has come out for marriage equality . the fact that the president has been forward on the full repeal of don't ask, don't tell. and now that that would fit squarely in the purview of chuck hagel .
>> well, he satisfied my concerns. and my concerns had to do with whether he would, in fact, take an active role in enforcing the equality that is now demanded of our government by our president. just i have no doubt that he will. therefore, it seems to me that comments that he made a long time ago under circumstances that have not been described. but after all, he was a brand-new senator. he was under pressure from the political leadership of his party. and i think that he was responding to circumstances that no longer exist.
>> ambassador james hormel . thank you for your service and thank you for your time today in joining me. i really do appreciate it.
>> thank you very much for having me.
>> absolutely. so the nra spent