Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) quickly fired back at President Obama today for accusing the senator of citing evidence of a decline in national security just to make headlines.
At this morning’s press conference, Obama was asked about Graham’s assertion that Benghazi and the Boston Marathon bombings are critical examples this security slip.
“No, Mr. Graham is not right on this issue. Although I’m sure it generated some headlines,” Obama said.
“The FBI investigated that older brother. It’s not as if the FBI did nothing. They not only investigated the older brother, they interviewed the older brother. They concluded there were no signs that he was engaging in extremist activity. So that much, we know,” the president added.
Graham rapidly responded to Obama’s comments.
“With all due respect Mr. President, Benghazi and Boston are compelling examples of how our national security systems have deteriorated on your watch,” the senator said.
“In Benghazi, multiple requests for increased security were denied and numerous warnings from Ambassador Stevens about the growing threats from al-Qaeda were ignored by Washington. For over seven and a half hours during the attack our Americans in the field were abandoned. After the attack, your administration provided misleading information to the American people,” Graham continued.
“In Boston, both the FBI and CIA were warned by the Russians about a radical Islamist in our midsts. Once enrolled in the system as a potential terror suspect, the older brother was able to travel back to Russia unimpeded by DHS or any of our intelligence agencies. Agencies under your control were unable to coordinate the information they received on the Boston terrorists.”
“If Benghazi is not an example of system failure before, during and after the attack what would be?” Graham said. “If Boston is not an example of a pre-9/11 stovepiping mentality what would be?”