Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.) said Sunday the Obama administration engaged in a "cover-up" after the attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

"I’d call it a cover-up," McCain said on ABC’s “This Week.” "I would call it a cover-up in the extent that there was willful removal of information, which was obvious. It was obvious."

Three current and former State officials testified before Congress last week, and said they knew the attack was terrorism even as the administration was describing it as a spontaneous protest.

ADVERTISEMENT
ABC News reported this week that talking points about the attacks were edited to remove references to terrorism. Republicans have accused the White House of downplaying the attacks in the midst of Obama's reelection campaign.

McCain said a select committee should be convened to investigate Benghazi — and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE should be called back to Capitol Hill to testify. But he split with other GOP senators who have suggested that the administration’s handling of the incident could rise to the level of impeachment.

“We need a select committee that interviews everybody," McCain said. "I don’t know what level of scandal, unquote, this rises to, but I know it rises to the level where it requires a full and complete ventilation of these facts."

McCain and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine) both said on the Sunday shows that while they have more questions about Benghazi, they don't believe President Obama should be impeached over the attacks.


"With all due respect, I think this is a serious issue," McCain said. "I will even give the president the benefit of the doubt on some of these things. We need a select committee." Collins also dismissed talk of impeachment during her appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."

Collins and McCain were both responding to comments Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGOP senator on backing Moore: ‘It’s a numbers game’ Overnight Energy: Panel advances controversial Trump nominee | Ex-coal boss Blankenship to run for Senate | Dem commissioner joins energy regulator Senate panel advances controversial environmental nominee MORE (R-Okla.) made in a radio interview, when he said lawmakers "will maybe start to use the ‘i-word’ before too long" — meaning impeachment.

"Of all the great cover-ups in history - we’re talking about the Pentagon Papers, the Iran-Contra, Watergate and all the rest of them, this is going to go down as the most serious, most egregious cover-up in American history," Inhofe said.