Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) have no intention of apologizing for previous statements that vilified U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on a diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, claiming that emails released by the White House last week still prove she misled the American people as to the nature of the attacks.
Asked by the Huffington Post‘s Sabrina Siddiqui Tuesday if, given the full emails, he erred in attacking Rice, McCain said, “No, of course not.”
“Listen, there was a deputy’s meeting the night before where they made the final determination,” he added. “Clearly, the White House played a very important role. The White House has denied that they played any role. We know now that they did.”
Graham went a step further, however. The South Carolina Republican demanded that Rice apologize to Gregory Hicks, former deputy to killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, who testified before Congress earlier this month as a “whistleblower” and said that his “jaw dropped” when he heard Rice say the attacks were the product of a spontaneous protest.
“She should be apologizing to Greg Hicks, who said when he heard what she had to say, his jaw dropped and his heart stopped and he was embarrassed,” he told the Post.
McCain and Graham waged a scorched-earth campaign against Rice last year after it was reported that President Barack Obama was considering naming her to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, maintaining they would “do whatever is in our power” to block her confirmation.
“She is so disconnected from reality that I don’t trust her,” Graham said in November. “I want to make sure that we don’t promote anybody that was an essential player in the Benghazi debacle.”
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on Sunday that the new emails show “beyond a shadow of the doubt” that Rice was wrongly accused.