By Jeremy Herb - 10/26/12 09:51 PM EDT
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called President Obama’s statements on Libya “a lot of B.S.” on Friday after the president said that his administration wasn’t playing politics with its response to the deadly attack.
“In the words of President Obama, this statement sounds like a lot of B.S.,” Graham said in a statement, referencing Obama’s comments in a Rolling Stone article.
“This Administration does play politics with national security,” Graham said. “In an effort to look strong, this Administration has strategically leaked classified information about numerous sensitive national security programs, ranging from the raid on bin Laden, the cyber-attacks on Iran, to disrupting the underwear bomber plot.”
Graham issued the statement in response to Obama’s comments in an Oval Office interview with Philadelphia radio host Michael Smerconish.
“My administration plays this stuff straight,” Obama said. “We don't play politics when it comes to American national security.
Graham blasted that response, saying that the administration has been “intentionally misleading the American people.”
“Fearful that the reality on the ground in Benghazi cuts against the narrative that al-Qaeda has been dismantled, the Administration has been cherry-picking intelligence,” Graham said. “There was no mob, there was no riot. This was a preplanned attack by al-Qaeda affiliated militia.”
He complained that he requested information from U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice over why she said the attack was sparked by a protest but has yet to receive a response.
Congressional Republicans have harshly criticized the administration’s response to the attack in Libya and are running several investigations of the incident. They want to know why the administration initially attributed the attack to a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video before later calling it a terrorist attack.
GOP investigators also have heard testimony from State Department officials who said requests for more security in Libya were refused by the administration.