Entries in McCain (3)


McCain Skips Classified Briefing While Blasting White House over Benghazi

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senator John McCain is demanding answers on the Benghazi attack, but his office tells ABC News he missed a classified briefing on the subject because of a “scheduling error.”

The briefing was held on Wednesday before the Senate Homeland Security Committee -- of which Senator McCain is a member -- and lasted three hours, featuring testimony by officials from the State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center.

McCain was holding a press conference demanding answers about the administration’s handling of the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. At precisely the same time, the briefing for the Homeland Security Committee was happening in another part of the Capitol building.

Why did he missing the briefing on a subject he has been so adamant in demanding answers on?  McCain’s office says his absence was unintentional -- an oversight.

“Senator McCain was absent from the hearing due to a scheduling error," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told ABC News.

Even if he had attended, McCain was unlikely to be satisfied with what he heard.

After the briefing was over, the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, Senator Susan Collins, was asked if she was satisfied with the hearing.

“I really wasn’t,” Collins answered. “There are many, many unanswered questions.  I feel that we’ve only scratched the surface through the briefings that we had today.”

There are currently at least four Senate Committees looking into the Benghazi attack.  For her part, Senator Collins does not agree with McCain’s call to combine those into one special -- or “select” -- committee like the one that investigated Watergate.

“ I do not see the benefit of, nor the need for a select committee,” Collins said.  “Our committee, our Homeland Security Committee has government-wide jurisdiction and a history of producing comprehensive bipartisan reports on everything from the Ft. Hood terrorist attack to Hurricane Katrina, so I don’t see the need for creating a brand new select committee to take a look at this.”

The White House had no immediate comment on McCain’s absence from the hearing, but one former White House official was quick to jump on it.

“It is nothing short of appalling that Senator McCain would use his time and influence to play politics instead of getting answers to the questions he claims to have,” said Bill Burton of the pro-Obama group Priorities USA.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Senators Stand Strong on Libya, Petraeus Scandals

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Three Republican Senators are at the helm of a movement to stand strong in their intent to combat President Obama on the two issues that currently stand at the forefront of the political media scene.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC. have  called for the establishment of a Watergate-style select congressional committee to investigate the administration’s handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“We believe the complexity and the gravity of this matter warrant the establishment of a temporary select committee that can conduct an integrated review of the many national security issues involved,” McCain said today.

The  three lawmakers called for former CIA director Gen. Petraeus as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify before the committee, if the Senate approves its formation.  They intend to probe “all the way up to the President of the United States.”

Now intrinsic in this investigation, the Senators admitted, is the Gen. Petraeus affair that is muddled in with the details of what went wrong in Libya. Sen. Graham said while the scandal grows “weirder by the day,” he hopes that an investigation can separate the two growing issues: what went wrong in Libya and Petraeus’ affair.

“There’s the weird and the strange and the human failings in one camp and there is the legitimate question about national security being breached in the other camp,” Graham said, “so we can separate out the weird from the national security.” But almost correcting himself immediately after, he noted that “there is beginning to be a national security component of the human failings that I want to know about.”

They introduced a resolution on Wednesday afternoon on the Senate floor that would establish this committee. It would need to be acted upon by the Senate to be enacted.  Asked today if he’d be in support of such a committee, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said no.

The Republican Senators said the committee is necessary to streamline information coming in between Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Armed Services committees who are all looking for answers on what happened in the attack.

“Conspiracy theories are running rampant,” Graham noted, “a segmented stovepipe investigation where you have three different committees going off in three different direction, not comparing notes, not being able to do this in an organized fashion is going to lead to failure….I think finding the truth about Benghazi is only possible if you combine the resources of these three committees.”

McCain and Graham also pledged to block any appointment of Susan Rice, a potential Secretary of State nominee, over her role in explaining the aftermath of the Sept. 11th attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Obama has not yet nominated Rice, but she is considered a frontrunner for the post. This statement drew a sharp rebuke from the President at his Wednesday press conference.

“If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” said Obama. “And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


DADT Shifts From Lady Gaga to Capitol Hill

(WASHINGTON) -- All eyes may have been on pop star Lady Gaga on Monday when she appeared at rally in Maine to push for the repeal of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy, but Tuesday the attention will shift to Capitol Hill.  Democrats are trying to come up with the votes to start debate on a defense bill that includes the policy's repeal.  Eliminating the controversial policy would give a much-needed boost to Democrats, who are looking for sweeteners to rally the base before Election Day, but they may have a rough time with Senator John McCain threatening to filibuster the bill.

Copyright 2010 ABC news Radio.  Image Courtesy: ABC News

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