Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.) may hold up the nomination of former National Security Council member Brett McGurk in light of allegations that McGurk engaged in a love affair with a Wall Street Journal reporter while the duo were stationed in Iraq, according to sources close to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The revelations add to some members of the committee’s growing list of concerns regarding McGurk’s qualifications to be the next ambassador to Iraq, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
McGurk, who led security negotiations in Iraq, apparently engaged in a sexual relationship with Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon in 2008 while the two were in that country, according to a series of emails posted on a hacker website and reported on by the Free Beacon Thursday.
The shocking details contained in the emails—including references to “blue balls,” a term for sexual frustration—leave open the possibility that McGurk may have lured the reporter into a close relationship by enticing her with insider information.
Multiple sources close the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told the Free Beacon that McGurk’s nomination is hanging by a thread.
“This is having a serious and immediate impact,” one aide to a Republican member of the committee said Thursday, soon after the news broke. “It’s looking pretty bad for him right now.”
Inhofe has said that he will not personally meet with McGurk until the allegations against him are fully investigated.