Republican Senators Criticized for Missing Benghazi Briefing
Leading U.S. political figures, Senators John McCain and Lidsey Graham have been criticized by both the press and members of their own Republican party for missing an intelligence meeting on the deaths of four American citizens in Libya.
Both Republican senators will take part in the investigation into the September 11th attack on the U.S. Embassy that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens; both men sit on the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee that will form part of the investigation.
Former Presidential candidate McCain and South Carolina Senator Graham spent Wednesday calling for a special investigation into the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Libya; as the two men called for the investigation government officials were briefing high ranking politicians on an ongoing investigation into the attacks.
When questioned by an employee of U.S. news network CNN Senator McCain refused to answer questions and grew angry at the line of questioning. McCain’s spokesperson blamed an error in scheduling for the missed briefing.
I have to tell you something that just happened on Capitol Hill, and that is our Senate producer Ted Barrett just ran into John McCain and asked about something that we’re hearing from Democrats, which is John McCain is calling for more information to Congress, but he had a press conference yesterday instead of going to a closed briefing where administration officials were giving more information. Well, Ted Barrett asked John McCain about that, and it was apparently an intense, very angry exchange and McCain simply would not comment on it at all.
CNN published a more detailed account of its exchange with McCain, in which, when asked why he wouldn’t comment on missing the briefing, the senator responded, “Who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?”
When CNN approached McCain in a Capitol hallway Thursday morning, the senator refused to comment about why he missed the briefing, which was conducted by top diplomatic, military and counter-terrorism officials. Instead, McCain got testy when pressed to say why he wasn’t there.
“I have no comment about my schedule and I’m not going to comment on how I spend my time to the media,” McCain said.
Asked why he wouldn’t comment, McCain grew agitated: “Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?”
When CNN noted that McCain had missed a key meeting on a subject the senator has been intensely upset about, McCain said, “I’m upset that you keep badgering me.”