McCain too busy with media appearances to attend classified briefing on Benghazi attack
Sen. John McCain, who’s getting more face-time on TV than Matt Lauer these days, has appeared on almost every network but the Weather Channel this week to tell the nation that the Obama administration has not provided Congress enough information about the deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
In fact, McCain’s media schedule has been such that he couldn’t find time the other day to attend a closed-door briefing on the Benghazi matter.
Josh Rogin has the STORY:
[A]lthough McCain had time to speak on the Senate floor and on television about the lack of information provided to Congress about the attack, he didn’t attend the classified briefing for senators Wednesday given to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which he is a member.
Committee ranking Republican Susan Collins called out McCain for skipping the briefing and said his call for a special committee to investigate the Benghazi attack was not necessary because the Homeland Security committee could handle it.
The closed and classified briefing included representatives from the State Department, the Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the FBI, an administration official said…
“If you want answers, a good first step is to show up and ask a question,” an administration official told The Cable. “That’s what a senator does.”
But when McCain was later asked about his failure to attend the briefing, he got a LITTLE TESTY:
CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash reported on Thursday that Ted Barrett, the network’s Senate producer, had an “intense very angry exchange” with McCain when he asked about why the senator had missed the hearing.
“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,” Bash told CNN anchor Carol Costello. “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.”
McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers later told Slate’s Dave Weigel that “Senator McCain was absent from the hearing due to a scheduling error.”