NYT Defends Benghazi Reporting After McCain, Graham Criticism


New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson on Thursday defended the newspaper’s reporting on the Benghazi attack after Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) criticized the report on the Senate floor.

“David Kirkpatrick’s report on the attack in Benghazi is a pioneering piece of enterprise reporting based on interviews with numerous sources inside Libya and outside the country conducted over many months,” Abramson said in a statement to Politico. “It explores in great detail the attack, the attackers, their motivations and their affiliations. The facts that have emerged since its publication confirm the story’s conclusions. We consider the reporting in the story unassailable.”

The Times in December published an investigation that found no evidence that al Qaeda carried out the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi.

On Thursday McCain called the New York Times “that ever-reliable surrogate for the Obama Administration” and said that all its Benghazi investigation did was “propagate myths.”

Graham said that the Times no longer produces journalism.

“To my friends at The New York Times: Journalism has died at this paper,” he said on the Senate floor.

McCain and Graham are not the first lawmakers to criticize the Times’ report on Benghazi. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) called the report “meaningless and baseless,” and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of House Intelligence Committee, also disputed the report.

On Wednesday the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the Benghazi attack, which found that al-Qaeda-affiliated groups participated in the attack.