Sen. McCain calls Benghazi a ‘cover-up’

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainMarines reignite debate on women in combat Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Report: Prominent neoconservative to fundraise for Clinton 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.

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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 Rodham ClintonSanders press secretary leaves campaign RNC strategizes against Clinton VP contenders Analysis: Trump, Clinton plans not in line with balancing national debt 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 CollinsGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA House Republicans pushing gun control bill The Trail 2016: Berning embers 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 InhofeEPA proposes climate rule incentives despite court hold GOP chairman: EPA could ‘restructure every industrial sector’ GOP in disarray over Trump furor 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.

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