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Lindsey Graham: Hillary Should Remain Focus of Benghazi Probes

Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 04:30 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should remain the focus of investigations into the Benghazi attack — a different take than that of Rep. Darrel Issa of California, who says prevention is the top priority.

"[Clinton] is likely to run for president . . . She has said repeatedly that she did not know of the additional security request to enhance security at the consulate from the time it was attacked in June until it was overrun on Sept. 11, even though the secretary of defense knew about the request," Graham told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"Are you telling me the secretary of state never asked any questions or made any inquiries about a consulate that had been previously attacked? How could the secretary of defense know about the request for security? So, she's either out of touch or that's not true . . .  [It's] a question of accountability."

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On HBO's "Real Time" with Bill Maher, Issa said: "The fact is, Benghazi is a story of making sure it doesn't happen again. It's a story of, will the system work when an ambassador says, 'I need more security;' instead, he gets less security?"

But Graham says Clinton's culpability, along with an ongoing coverup of the real facts by the Obama administration, must be at the forefront.

"The noose is beginning to tighten. The president got away with it seven weeks before an election . . . trying to create a narrative that this was a protest caused by video [instead of] the truth that it was a preplanned terrorist attack by al-Qaida operatives," he said.

"It was the first sign of what's going on in the world today, the rise of al-Qaida. So, the real story in Benghazi beyond the four dead Americans, which is heartbreaking, tragic, is the failure of Obama's foreign policy.

"When the commander-in-chief and his team distort intelligence and basically cover up what happened to four people in the line of duty for political purposes, that's a very big deal," Graham said.

While Graham and Issa appear to differ on the top priorities of the Benghazi probe, the Palmetto State lawmaker praised his Republican colleague.

"Darrell Issa has done as much as anyone to get to the bottom of Benghazi, and I really admire what he's done on the Oversight Committee," Graham said.

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