Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday accused the White House of purposefully manipulating the “political narrative” of the terrorist attack in Benghazi to make President Obama look good two months before the election.
Graham, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, the official who first addressed the issue publicly, had no business speaking about it but was chosen because Rice was “politically compliant.”
“Why would you choose someone who had nothing to do with Benghazi to tell us about Benghazi?” he asked. “That’s kind of odd. She was the most politically compliant person they could find. I don’t know what she knew, but I know that the story she told was misleading.”
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Graham said he believes the administration would — and did — mislead Americans on the issue of national security “to prevent him [Obama] from looking bad.”
“I think it’s very odd that the storyline they chose omitted al-Qaida, which would help the president enormously, and I don’t buy it,” he said. “And I don’t but the intel community did a great job. I like [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Mike Rogers and [California Sen.] Dianne Feinstein, but to say the intelligence community did a good job — what about the months before this attack?”
Graham then launched a verbal assault on Obama for failing to heed multiple warnings by U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in the Sept. 11 assault, about the lack of security at the U.S. Consulate in Libya.
“I blame the president more than anybody else,” he said. “Susan Rice is a bit player here. I blame the president for making this a death trap. I blame the president for not having assets available to help these people for eight hours.”
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