Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said today that with all the focus on the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Defense secretary — which he opposes — he’s not losing sight of the other nod announced yesterday.
President Obama tapped his counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, to serve as the next director of the CIA.
Graham said this is a prime opportunity to hold the White House’s feet to the fire on Benghazi by holding his nominee hostage.
“I have not forgotten about the Benghazi debacle and still have many questions about what transpired before, during and after the attack on our consulate,” Graham said. “In that regard, I do not believe we should confirm anyone as Director of the CIA until our questions are answered – like who changed Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points and deleted the references to Al-Qaeda? My support for a delay in confirmation is not directed at Mr. Brennan, but is an unfortunate, yet necessary action to get information from this Administration.”
The senator noted his repeated attempts to get myriad answers from the administration on the attack, requests that have all been refused.
“We were first told the Director of National Intelligence deleted the Al-Qaeda reference in the talking points because they did not want to let al Qaeda know we were monitoring them. We were then told the FBI changed the talking points so as not to compromise an ongoing criminal investigation. Finally, during a meeting with Ambassador Rice and acting-CIA Director Morrell, I was told it was the FBI who changed the talking points. However, later in the day the clarified it was the CIA who had changed the talking points,” Graham said.
“This ever-changing story should be resolved. It is imperative we understand who changed the talking points just weeks before a presidential election and why. The stonewalling on Benghazi by the Obama Administration must come to an end.”