Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been the leading congressional critic of the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack and what he sees as the administration's lack of candor with Congress on the matter. On Wednesday, he pledged to block the potential nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton due to Rice's statements on the attack. That drew a sharp rebuke from President Barack Obama at Wednesday's press conference.
But although McCain had time to speak on the Senate floor and on television about the lack of information provided to Congress about the attack, he didn't attend the classified briefing for senators Wednesday given to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which he is a member.
Committee ranking Republican Susan Collins (R-ME) called out McCain for skipping the briefing and said his call for a special committee to investigate the Benghazi attack was not necessary because the Homeland Security committee could handle it.
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), "who was there at briefing, and Senator McCain, who was not, are members of our committee, and I know they would play very important roles," Collins told Politico.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), another Homeland Security committee member who was on television complaining about the lack of Benghazi information, also did not show up for the Wednesday hearing. Paul did a CNN interview from the Capitol building Wednesday in which said he had questions about the anti-Islam video, the lack of Marines in Libya, and diplomatic security. At one point he says, "I don't know enough of the details."
He went to Australia for a wine tasting trip. Wait, no that was our Secretary of State!
Where were they instead?
The classified briefing was held on Wednesday before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee – of which Senator McCain is a member – and lasted three hours. It featured testimony by officials from the State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center.
During part of the briefing, McCain was holding a press conference demanding answers about the administration’s handling of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Step. 11 that killed four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. McCain called on Congress to launch Watergate-style hearings to get to the bottom of what happened.
“More than two months after the Benghazi attack, there are still many unanswered questions,” McCain told reporters in the Capitol Hill press conference. “While we await the findings and recommendations of the administration’s internal review of the Benghazi attack, it’s essential for the Congress to conduct its own independent assessment.”
At precisely the same time McCain was holding that press conference, 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.
Obama only attended 43% of his intelligence briefings, but that was not a problem as his defenders said he did not actually need to be present to receive the information, why does the same logic not apply here?
hack hack hack...this has already been debunked.