White House says Benghazi, Ukraine link 'jumped the shark'

President Obama’s administration is taking particular umbrage with a GOP criticism linking the situation in Ukraine to the United States' response to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Tuesday the criticism made by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) “jumped the shark.”

Former White House adviser David Plouffe said Tuesday the GOP criticism of President Obama amid Russian forces entering Ukraine is "nuts."

Plouffe quoted a line from former President George W. Bush in which he urged the country to speak with one voice on foreign policy.

Graham sent out a string of tweets Tuesday claiming the lack of response by the United States after the deadly attacks that killed four Americans invited aggression. This is what happens, he said, when Americans are killed and no one is held responsible. He added U.S. policy in Syria and Egypt has also proved Obama is a “weak indecisive leader.”

A number of Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), have been critical of the president as Russian troops took over the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine. They say U.S. foreign policy under Obama has emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House has pushed back hard on the idea that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are coming from a place of strength.

“I actually think that this has not been a sign of strength but rather is a reflection that countries near Russia have deep concerns and suspicions about this kind of meddling, and if anything, it will push many countries further away from Russia,” Obama said Tuesday.

—Updated 4:35 p.m.