McCain Skipped A Briefing On Benghazi To Hold A Press Conference

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is demanding a special select committee to investigate the events leading up to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya and has held around-the-clock television appearances pressing for a complete review of the incident.

But all of the senator’s media interviews and press availabilities may be interfering with his ability to gather information about the event. On Thursday morning, CNN’s Dana Bash reported that McCain chose to hold a joint press conference with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) rather than attend a closed-door briefing about the attacks:

I have to tell you something that just happened on Capitol Hill, and that is our senate producer Ted Barrett just ran into John McCain and asked about something that we’re hearing from Democrats, which is John McCain is calling for more information to Congress, but he had a press conference yesterday instead of going to a closed briefing where administration officials were giving more information. Well, Ted Barrett asked John McCain about that, and it was apparently an intense very angry exchange and McCain simply would not comment on it at all.

Watch it:

At least one Republican senator is criticizing McCain for skipping the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee briefing, The Cable’s Josh Rogin reports. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), “who was there at briefing, and Senator McCain, who was not, are members of our committee, and I know they would play very important roles,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other Republicans have dismissed the need for a select committee.


McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers explains: “Senator McCain was absent from the [Benghazi] hearing due to a scheduling error.”

Share Update

McCain would not offer comment to CNN. When pressed by CNN’s Ted Barrett reporter to explain his absence, the Senator responded angrily: “Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?”

Listen at 1:13:

Share Update