Sen. Lindsey Graham talks Hagel, Brennan nominations
Key Republican lawmaker on 'Fox News Sunday'
- Duration 12:20
- Date Feb 17, 2013
Key Republican lawmaker on 'Fox News Sunday'
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And hello again from fox and is in Washington.
Senate Republicans made history this -- blocking a nominee for Defense Secretary for the first time ever.
They are demanding more information about the nominate former senator Chuck Hagel and about the Ben -- terror attack.
Joining me now one of the senators leading the charge Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
Senator you were telling me just before we went on the air that you've just gotten some new information about Chuck Hagel what is it.
Well on the day of the vote there was a blog posting about her speech I think in 2007.
Or eight -- -- take Omega records university.
And the blogger was a supporter of senator hagel -- thing about running for president and you put on his blog the next day six points of this speech.
Question and answer session -- point six was.
Allegedly senator hagel said that that US State Department.
Was an adjunct of the Israeli foreign minister's office.
Which I think would be breath taking if he said that they have such -- -- I got a letter back from senator hagel in response to mark question did you say that and do you believe that.
And the letter said he did not recall saying that he disavows that statement.
It's not enough area.
Well if in fact that's true that would -- that matter because he's previously said and a book that.
The Jewish lobbying -- members of congress particularly the US senate.
And now makes us pushes us to make very bad decisions if this second statement were true he said that this secretary.
Secretary of State's office is under the control of the Israeli foreign ministers those two together.
-- -- an edge and have view of the Israeli US relationship way out of mainstream so just taken that as word unless something new comes along.
Senate Democrats as you know -- you're playing politics with national security here's what.
President Obama said.
It's just unfortunate that.
This kind of politics.
-- -- at a time when I'm.
Still presiding over a war in Afghanistan -- -- as secretary of defense who was coordinating whether.
Our allies to make sure that our troops are getting the kind of strategy -- mission that they deserve.
Even if you allow -- -- to be confirmed in a week when you come back from recess do you worry at all senator that he will be damaged.
And they are for less effective dealing with congress and dealing inside the Pentagon.
I would worry about a congress being jammed.
To support a nominee that the Washington Post says.
Is to the left of the Obama administration's.
Foreign policy agenda was on the fringe of the senate.
You're talking about a person who's voting record shows softness on Iran -- antagonism toward is -- beyond belief.
He'd be the most antagonistic senator toward the State of Israel in history.
So the fact that we've reported him out Tuesday and they wanted cloture vote Thursday.
To me was really unreasonable we voted senator -- out in the same day.
-- there was no controversy and we offered to the White House.
To hold a vote until after the break and if -- nothing new came out -- all vote for cloture senator -- McCain and myself but that wasn't good enough they wanted to force this issue so I'm glad that we.
Have got more time to look and I'm glad he answered my question about a very disturbing comment he allegedly made so I think we're doing our job to scrutinize.
I think one of the most.
Choices for secretary of state defense and a very long time.
Well let me ask a question about that if he is so radical and that he's unqualified.
If you get the information your seeking on him and on bank Gaza and we'll get about the moment.
Why wouldn't you still continue to try to block.
Well because I do believe the president has great deference and here's the question for country can we do better than this I think so.
The president chosen a controversial nominee that.
Refuses to sign letter supporting Israel during the 2005.
-- refused to designate the Iranian revolutionary guard a terrorist organization refused to sign a letter.
Action asking the need to designate Hezbollah's -- terrorist organization.
The list goes on and on and on.
But at the end of the day this is the president's decision I give him great discretion.
And I can't believe one democratic colleague it's not upset by this choice enough to speak out.
Now one of the other things that you want and you're using the nomination as leverage.
Is to get more information about bank Gaza -- that president says that that's all about politics take a look at that -- We've had more testimony.
And more paper provided to congress than ever before and congress is sort of running out of things to ask.
Question tell me the single most important thing.
That after all these months you still don't know about then got.
It's pretty hard to let's start with after we don't know who changed the talking points to take the references -- -- -- the talking points given Susan Rice.
We don't even know who the survivors of the attack are so that congress can interview them.
How in the world could depressed and Susan Rice suggest this was not -- pre planned terrorist attack.
When the -- -- fans send the chairman of the joint chiefs testify before congress.
Just a week ago that they knew on the night of the attack it was a terrorist attack there's so many unanswered question.
I just ask -- about one thing I interviewed senator let me go back up on -- one of them that I find frankly quite astonishing.
What is the administration's explanation for the fact that the FBI interview the survivors all the Americans who -- got out of Ben Ghazi right after the attack months ago.
And that they refused to give them the transcripts of those interviews to congress what what's their explanation -- that.
This is it -- on criminal investigation.
Here's what they tell me that we're going back to the law enforcement model over trading -- crater al-Qaeda is sort of a mafia common criminal element.
Rather than enemy combatants and here's what was really stunning.
The FBI interviewed the survivors two days after the attack in Germany and the CIA never called the FBI for weeks warning the.
Results of the interview before they made their assessments were going back to the pre 9/11 mentality.
Before we treat this as a law enforcement function the FBI and the CAA.
Never talk to each other which is very dangerous -- Ghazi was system failure before during and after.
Senate Republicans are also talking about holding up the nomination of John Brennan the president's chief counterterrorism advisor to -- the CIA.
And Rand Paul your colleague who will be on after the brakes as one of the things that he wants -- and shore is that a president can't order a drone attack.
Against an American citizen.
Without a judicial review is senator Paul wrong.
I think the worst thing in the world -- have the course decide who to target in the war on terrorists terrorism.
Courts are not military commanders the commander in chief has the right -- of our law and the authorization to use military force to designate the enemy.
I think we do need drones to patrol our borders but I don't think he needed -- attack and al-Qaeda operative inside the United States.
We're using -- where there's really no soldiers along the Afghan Pakistan border but are very much believe -- more.
And any American citizen who -- al-Qaeda should be treated as an enemy combatant not a common criminal we've done that in every other war in drones are just a tactical.
Weapon and the overall war.
When congress gets back from recess.
The week after this one you're gonna have just five days to try to deal with the sequester the 85 billion dollars an automatic spending cuts the -- again.
On March 1 now some Republican leaders -- if it comes down to a choice between sequester.
-- 85 billion that are split evenly between the domestic side and military pentagon spending.
Or the president's demands for an increase in taxes than -- the sequester -- are they wrong about that.
Oh I think so I think we should -- bipartisan fashion stop sequestration before -- in the words of this.
Secretary defense to stores the Pentagon.
But we can cut spending one point two trillion over the next decade without destroying the Defense Department if we choose.
President promised in the campaign sequestration would not happen now he's allowing it to happen.
He's raising taxes to pay for half of it.
And the other half comes from further defense cuts we -- -- cut 489 billion and taking money out of the farm bill so when the president says the state of the union.
We've already cut spending about two and a half trillion dollars -- absolutely misleading statement.
Well because we have that we haven't done anything with sequestration yet instead of cutting spending about one point two trillion.
He is now suggesting we raise taxes -- 600 billion.
Cut the Pentagon yet again and the go to the farm bill that's the only areas that they're willing to cut.
So we haven't cut 2.5.
Tree and because the sequestration.
Is now don't be replaced by tax cuts and further defense spending and it's only 19% of the budget.
But you know sort of back to this -- -- thing and this administration being transparent and be an honest with the American people this president can say almost anything he lost.
Was he notable exceptions.
And get away with it we still have no idea what the president did.
When second -- during the night of September 11 and with Secretary Clinton said -- -- -- Clear -- view of the threats we faced in Libya.
The secretary of defense and the chairman joint chiefs said they knew that night it was a terrorist attack and they knew -- the reporting coming out of Libya.
From my ambassador Stephen says we cannot defend the consulate.
She was not clear that she was blind and deaf and the president the United States never picked up the phone call anybody in -- to help these four -- These four people under attack the first and bastard killed in thirty years they withheld information.
I think they manipulated the evidence after the attack to create a political narrative rather than -- and -- the public.
The truth about an al-Qaeda attack that was pre planned in pre coordinated we're gonna get to the bottom of this that.
Let me just ask you one more question opposite question before we let you go senator.
You know that if week.
Go wind at his request of the president is gonna hammer Republicans the White House is already put out a list of all the things that terrible things that are gonna happen.
If the sequestered -- and 70000 children -- head start.
2100 fewer food inspection small business.
-- -- 900 million dollars in loan guarantees and you know senator the president is -- I did your party is forcing this to protect tax cuts for the wealthy.
All I can say is the commander in chief.
Stopped came out with the idea of sequestration.
Destroying the military putting a lot of good programs that risk.
Here's my belief let's take obamacare and put it on the table you can make 86000.
Dollars a year in income and still get a government subsidy under Obama care.
Obama care is destroying health care in this country people are leaving the private sector.
Because their companies can't afford to offer Obama care if you wanna look at ways to find one point two -- savings over the next decade.
Let's look at Obama care -- don't destroy the military and just cut blindly across the board.
There are many ways to do this but the president promised -- what -- he's the commander in chief.
And on his watch.
We're going to begin to unravel the finest military in the history of the world at a town we need it most that the Iranians are watching us.
We're allowing people that -- be destroyed and slaughtered in Syria.
So I just really am very this -- in our commander in chief.
Senator Graham thank you thanks for joining us today will be fun playing about the sequestration.
And the -- nomination.