Sen. Graham: I blame the president above all others
South Carolina senator speaks out on president's press conference
- Duration 12:15
- Date Nov 14, 2012
South Carolina senator speaks out on president's press conference
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So after hiding out on the campaign trail for more than eight months the president finally today found sometime and is busy schedule to Meet the Press now for the first time since early march.
He held a formal news conference and to say this was long overdue well that would be an understatement.
But there's a lot -- transpired since the last time the president found the courage to face as well suck up friends.
In the mainstream media from Benghazi to the resignation.
-- the CIA director there was certainly more questions than there were answers heading into today's presser.
And that's where we begin tonight with the Petraeus scandal and whether or not the president believes that our national security was ever risk as a result of the.
Fair watched us.
I have no evidence.
At this point from what I've seen that.
Disclosed that in any way would have.
Had negative impact on our national security.
Obviously there's an ongoing investigation I don't want to comment on the specifics of investigation.
Right here's the problem Mr.
President your administration has lost any and all credibility when it comes to investigating itself.
And that includes -- -- deep it goes on that not matter above all others he simply cannot be trusted which is exactly why GOP senators are now calling.
For the formation of a select committee to leave the Ben Ghazi inquiry let's look at this.
I think if there was every time in recent history.
For the congress to file -- models that we've used in the past it is -- guys that.
Investigation benefited from a joint select committee Iran Contra contract.
Benefited from -- selection committee I think finding the truth about -- Ghazi is only possible.
If you combine the resource -- of these three committees.
Now senator Graham was also asked to respond to the rumor that ambassador Susan Rice is being considered to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
-- needless to say he wasn't too fond of that suggesting considering rice is the one who appeared on five Sunday shows blaming the -- -- attack on up.
This is about.
The role she played.
Around four dead Americans when it -- to be that the story coming out.
But the administration and she's the fourth person is so disconnected to reality I don't trust it.
And the reason I don't trust her.
Is because I think she knew better and if she did know better she shouldn't be the Voice of America.
Somebody is got to start paying a price around this place but I am dead set on making sure we don't promote anybody.
That was an essential player in the name guys -- the -- -- it appears our president mr.
sensitive took great offense to senator Gramm's critique -- take a look at as very angry response.
She made an appearance.
That the request the White House.
In which she.
Who gave her best.
Of the intelligence that had been provided to her.
If Senator McCain.
And senator Graham and others want to go after somebody that they should go after me.
And I'm happy to have that discussion what.
But for them to go after it.
The UN ambassador.
Who had nothing to do what -- doesn't.
And with simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received.
And -- divert besmirch her reputation.
I hope you're paying very close attention there because as usual when the teleprompters are not scrolling.
The truth or not magically comes out now what you just heard from the president for the first time he admitted that rice was sent on the Sunday shows quote.
At the request of the White House.
Now if that is in fact the case and -- Susan Rice was following marching orders from the president himself.
Will that mean she went into battle armed with White House talking points and what do those talking points say.
It appears they told her to ignore the intelligence committee because they knew within 24 hours that al-Qaeda was behind the strike.
And is that -- telling the truth she repeatedly blamed the death of a US ambassador in three other Americans on this quote YouTube video now why.
But -- that's what she was told to do.
She was following orders and is becoming more more clear where these orders are coming from.
And it's also clear that the president lied when he said.
That this is one of the most critical moments at the 2012 presidential debates member when he said the following.
The day after the attack governor.
I stood in the Rose Garden.
And I told the American people in the world.
-- we're gonna find out exactly what happened.
But this was an act of terror.
While obviously that's not true because the president now admits he sent rice on TV to blame the YouTube video.
Now in a moment senator Graham will join me to respond directly to the president's challenge but first.
Think about the exchange that we just witnessed and then ask yourself where the follow -- from the media.
They were nowhere to be found instead it was softball after softball and so because the press they -- once again to do their job.
Here are some of the questions that should have been presented today regarding -- -- first.
Did you know ambassador Stevens made multiple requests for additional security after the British ambassador and the Red Cross.
Left over fears for their security second did you know the Charlie -- testified.
That the State Department was actually watching this attack in real time.
Third why did they not tell you that this was a terror attack after all supposedly.
You're the commander in chief.
And if they knew and the Libyan president knew this had nothing to do with a YouTube video.
Then why could that you admit that to the American people also will you make the video and audiotapes that exists from the attack available to the American people.
And also lastly who told the two Navy SEALs to stand down was the EU.
Did you denied a request for assistance that could've saved American lives now.
One -- we're gonna find out the answer all of these questions Mr.
President and for that very reason I'd be very careful.
Daring congressional investigators to look in your direction.
And joining me now to respond directly to the president's challenge is South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham -- welcome back to the program.
I think those are good questions.
Well -- well they weren't asked today so I have more questions at the end of today than I -- answers but what let's get your initial reaction to the up presser today.
Well number one.
I can't believe the president said that we sent someone out to explain -- guys he had nothing to do it then guys -- That's pretty stunning -- why did they pick her.
If she had nothing to do with -- -- she's not in charge -- consulate security she works in the UN.
Why nobody from the State Department -- believes she's a close political ally of the president.
She went on national TV for five days after the -- when there is no credible information.
That the video scenario.
And she either through incompetence.
Are an intentional effort to mislead the American people tried to spin the story.
That would help the president because if it was true.
That this was an al-Qaeda attack long time in the making.
That killed our ambassador in three other brave Americans so much for the story.
We kill -- -- -- -- is on the run being dismantled so I'm gonna hold her accountable she volunteered for this assignment.
She's either very incompetent when she came to explaining -- -- -- she was misleading but the person -- blame the most is the president.
Well you said it within twenty minutes of the president's press conference today you had sent out a response he said.
I don't think for Mr.
President one minute.
That I don't ultimately blame you responsible for -- I think you failed as commander in chief before Doreen and after the attack.
A way to give some details goes out there -- so many unanswered questions here.
Okay -- one.
I wrote the president weeks ago Mr.
President where you informed that they April and June attack on the consulate and then -- He June there was an IED attack on the console of the blow a hole in the wall that forty people could get through it.
Where you informed at the British decided to close their consulate because the British investor was attacked.
-- al-Qaeda militia did you were you informed that the Red Cross close the place.
-- blame the president above all others because I can't believe it's possible that he was not told by his people about the -- attack can you imagine.
The president United States going out in public being asked by our reporter.
What do you think happened in Gaza yesterday -- I don't know what you're talking about so I blamed the president for leaving the consulate open.
In a fashion that it became a death trap he should have closed the consulate are heavily reinforced it.
Once the attack occurred in a -- -- hobbling the president above all others.
You know senator I'm a little sick and tired -- the media's fixation on on the sex scandal part of this and in parts of this.
Our military because -- certainly -- -- what happened was wrong.
-- but we don't take into account I mean General Petraeus put his wife on his line for -- up for this country and got shot in the process of one point and risked his life.
And I think they've focused on that my question to you is you know we also have report the only Paul brought -- question I have two of them actually.
Was this CIA annex actually at a detention interrogation site as she suggest it seems she seemed competent when she said it.
-- say everything you said about General Petraeus is -- -- we were losing an Iraqi turned it around.
He's got a stack on good footing and Afghanistan -- the president I think it's made poor decisions regarding Iraq and Afghanistan.
-- -- great military leadership but General Petraeus so -- told members of the house intelligence and Senate Intelligence Committee.
A couple of days after the fact that he thought it was a result of a video.
He needs to testify Secretary Clinton needs to testify and August 15.
-- Stephenson a cable.
From Libya to the State Department to Secretary Clinton saying we've identified ten.
Militia groups associated with al-Qaeda and -- guys -- they're all over the place and if there's a coordinated attack we can't defend the consulate.
So she needs still account for why she did not grant the security request yeah we need to hear from all -- these people but the way the congress is doing it.
They're going to fall through the crack well.
I want to follow up.
How -- -- I think this is very very key here because you are suggesting the house and senate.
Organize the hearings in the right way otherwise we're never gonna get to the truth -- -- explain activate it seems to make sense to me.
Okay the State Department -- -- -- for how they console was on so unsecured for so long do you agree with that.
The department defense needs to answer for the fact that for eight hours we couldn't -- these four people do you agree with that.
Yeah I'm I love being interrogate ally even underwrote the -- -- well that that's CIA -- answer for about 101000 things.
Yep how in the world can you get to the truth if you got three or four committees going off in separate directions.
Have a select committee.
The house needs to lead on this issue.
Put a committee together the relevant committees asked the same questions of the same people so you can compare answers what Harry Reid is proposing.
Does god allow this thing to fall apart we'll never get to the truth and me the right people on those committees people like JJ pensions and all my god that god bless Jason and and that house oversight committee.
I hope Boehner and cantor are why not make -- mistakes that we're making in the senate are put together committee of people -- know what they're doing look at it as a group rather in a stove pipe approach and we'll get to the truth we deserve the truth I have nothing against.
But I do have a desire to get to the truth and I'm going to hold this president accountable.
Susan Rice and others for what I think is a national security breakdown.
Proportions -- -- would continue to follow it it is a -- scandal we have not gotten a lot of answers today and coming -- appreciate you being with us much more --