In 1998, then-Senator Chuck Hagel stated that President Bill Clinton’s Ambassador-designate James Hormel was “openly, aggressively gay,” which was “an inhibiting factor” in his ability to perform “an effective job” as Ambassador to Luxembourg.

Now that Hagel is in the running to succeed Leon Panetta as Barack Obama’s Defense Department Secretary, he’s issued an apology. To Politico‘s Mike Allen. Via a statement. Issued through an aide.