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Bridget Johnson


January 29, 2013 - 11:37 am

The week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got the upper hand on congressional committee members in Benghazi hearings, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said she “got away with murder.”

Graham confirmed today that, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he won’t cast a vote on a new secretary of Defense — Chuck Hagel’s nomination hearing is on Thursday — until outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies about what happened in the Sept. 11 Libya attack.

The senator said on Fox last night that his eventual Hagel vote will depend on what he says during his hearings. “But the one thing I’m not going to do is vote on a new secretary of defense until the old secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, who I like very much, testifies about what happened in Benghazi,” he said.

“I haven’t forgotten about Benghazi. Hillary Clinton got away with murder, in my view. She said they had a clear-eyed view of the threats. How could you have a clear-eyed of the threats in Benghazi when you didn’t know about the ambassador’s cable coming back from Libya?” Graham added.

Not a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Graham did not get to question Clinton last week.

“All I can say is, you know, our guys tried to ask questions. She is very good on her feet, deflecting these questions. But she said two things that will come back to haunt her, that they had a clear-eyed assessment of the threats in Libya and that they had close contact with the Libyan government. I don’t believe either one of them,” he said.

“Why were there no military assets available on September the 11th when our consulate in Benghazi was under attack?” Graham tweeted today as criticism of his comment grew on the social media platform.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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