As the U.S. Senate prepares for confirmation hearings on Chuck Hagel‘s appointment as Secretary of Defense, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is passionately leading the charge against his former colleague.
The differences between the two men are reportedly more personal than professional. According to former aides, Graham has had it in for the Nebraskan since a previously unreported 2005 incident where he “inappropriately propositioned” Hagel and was firmly rebuffed.
Luke Anderson, a former legal adviser to Hagel during his time in the Senate, says Graham’s hatred of his former boss has its roots in a classic story of unrequited love.
“Lindsey came into Chuck’s office one day to work on a farm bill,” Anderson says “The two really hit it off and ended up talking for hours. I think Lindsey misread the situation and thought that Chuck was also secretly gay. Towards the end he asked Chuck if he’d like to go out for a drink sometime.”
“Chuck thought he was joking, and said ‘Sure Lindsey come by any time and we’ll get drunk and naked.’ But Lindsey wasn’t joking. And he showed up the following night.”
“Needless to say what happened when Lindsey arrived at Chuck’s office in a velvet robe with a bottle of Cointreau at 2 in the morning wasn’t pretty. I happened to be working late that night, and I still have nightmares about it. ”
Aides to Sen. Graham say that he didn’t take kindly to being spurned by Hagel. According to Tim Brown, a former policy adviser, he was absolutely livid.
“He came in the next morning just fuming about Hagel,” Brown recounts, “We asked him what happened and he told us ‘Oh Chuck’s just a big tease.’ After that we never asked him about it again. But it seems like he still hates him.”
For his part, Sen. Graham refuses to answer questions about his sexuality. However, in response to an interview request from The Daily Currant, Graham released the following statement:
“I was made to believe that certain parties would perform certain acts for a certain length of time. Unfortunately, these parties talked a big talk, but didn’t follow though in the end.”
“Chuck Hagel may be a big, strong, powerful, masculine figure in American politics. But he is not a man of his word. And I refuse to vote for a downright liar as Secretary of Defense.”