GOP senator: Benghazi report is ‘messed up’

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on Monday said a House Intelligence Committee report on the 2012 Benghazi attacks that largely cleared the CIA and Obama administration is “messed up.”

Kirk sided with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has argued the report released late Friday was “a bunch of crap.”

{mosads}“I would say that no one in the Senate has looked deeper into Benghazi,” Kirk told CNN of Graham, who he noted is a colonel in the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. 

“If he says something is messed up, it’s probably messed up. We should give this senator his due because of all of his military service to the country,” Kirk added.

The Intelligence report found there was no intelligence failure prior to the Benghazi attacka, that officials did not give a “stand down” command to operatives who might have been able to help people at the besieged compound, and that there was conflicting intelligence about the cause and who was behind the attacks in the immediate hours afterward.

The report did criticize “flawed” security at the compound, where Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack, and it criticized how talking points were developed by the administration to describe what had happened.

Graham on Sunday harshly criticized the report and accused the Intelligence panel of “doing a lousy job of policing their own.”

Kirk said he shared that criticism.

“I think given the House committee, what it was doing to try to protect its own …  the way Lindsey describes, I think Lindsey is probably right on target there,” according to Kirk.

The report comes from retiring Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).

When pressed if he possessed specific information that there was political cover-up by the White House in the attack’s immediate aftermath, including editing talking points for then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for a series of Sunday show interviews, Kirk said he did not.

Still, the Illinois lawmaker maintained the talking points “really didn’t square with the death of four Americans there” in Libya.

The Benghazi attacks occurred while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State. Democrats have accused Republicans of trumping up charges to use against Clinton if she runs for the White House in 2016.

Tags Benghazi Hillary Clinton Lindsey Graham Mark Kirk

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