Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., met with the former Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden, but used the encounter to boost Chuck Hagel’s flagging Defense Secretary nomination.

“I met, the night before last, with the man that killed Osama bin Laden,” Reid said on the Senate floor.”I talked to him about his 16 year career as a SEAL, the places he went around the world protecting the interests of the United States. It wasnt just Afghanistan, not [just] in Pakistan — all over the world. To think that we have now in the senate a situation where we’re going to wind up without a Secretary of Defense, at this time . . . It’s shocking that my Republican colleagues would leave the nation without a fully empowered Secretary of Defense during all the things we have going on in the world, including a war.”

Reid cited Hagel’s party affiliation as if it should produce votes for his confirmation. “We heard all the talk — you know, we have some questions about Hagel,” he said. “Keep in mind, Mr. President [of the Senate], he’s a Republican.”