Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) lashed out at President Obama for playing politics with national security in the Benghazi attack after statements the president made on a Philly radio show today.
“On Monday WSJ reported that your daily briefings said the attack had arisen from a spontaneous protest. Is it true that your statements and those of [Ambassador Susan] Rice were simply repeating what the PDBs were telling you?” host Michael Smerconish asked.
“What’s true is that the intelligence was coming in and evolving as more information came up. And what is true–this is something that the American people can take to the bank: my administration plays this stuff straight. We don’t play politics when it comes to American national security,” Obama replied. “So what we consistently have done throughout my presidency and what we did in his circumstance is as information came in we gave it to the American people. And as we got new information we gave that to the American people. And that includes by the way members of Congress. One of the things that always frustrates me about this town is when people go out there and try to politicize issues despite knowing that we have given them all this information.”
Paraphrasing Obama’s remarks about Mitt Romney to Rolling Stone, Graham said, “In the words of President Obama, this statement sounds like a lot of B.S.”
“In an effort to look strong, this Administration has strategically leaked classified information about numerous sensitive national security programs, ranging from the raid on bin Laden, the cyber-attacks on Iran, to disrupting the underwear bomber plot. The President has also refused to appoint a special counsel to investigate breaches of national security, while demanding it for others in past administrations,” Graham continued.
“These leaks have created distrust amongst our allies and damaged operations in the field. Fearful that the reality on the ground in Benghazi cuts against the narrative that al-Qaeda has been dismantled, the Administration has been cherry-picking intelligence and intentionally misleading the American people. There was no mob, there was no riot. This was a preplanned attack by al-Qaeda affiliated militia.”
The senator noted he’s been waiting nearly two weeks for any scrap of requested information on the attacks from top intelligence officials.
“The President promised transparency, an unveiling of details regarding the Benghazi attack, but they have done nothing but stonewall the American people and their elected representatives,” Graham said.