WASHINGTON — A Republican senator today called for a delay in confirming President Barack Obama’s pick for CIA director until the administration provides answers on the deadly Sept. 11 assault in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said this morning that his support for delaying the nomination was not a reflection on John Brennan, who Obama tapped on Monday, but rather the only recourse to get information on the raid on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
“The stonewalling on Benghazi by the Obama administration must come to an end,” Graham said in a statement.
Republicans have argued that the administration tried to downplay that the attack was an act of terrorism in the weeks before the November election, even though Obama used that term in the days after the raid.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice relied on talking points from the intelligence community to say on Sept. 16 that the attack may have been a protest that got out of hand. Rice’s incorrect explanation likely cost her a chance to be nominated as the next secretary of state.
Graham said he wants answers on who changed Rice’s talking points and deleted references to al-Qaida. He pointed out that lawmakers were told that the director of national intelligence deleted the references, then were told it was the FBI.
Hours after a meeting with Rice, Congress was told that the CIA had changed the talking points.
The South Carolina lawmaker said. “It is imperative we understand who changed the talking points just weeks before a presidential election and why.”