McCain, Graham heading to Egypt at president's request
July 30th, 2013
06:53 PM ET
1 year ago

McCain, Graham heading to Egypt at president's request

Washington (CNN) - Republican Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, plan to go to Egypt at President Barack Obama’s request as soon as next week, Graham confirmed to CNN.

“We were talking to the president a week or two ago and he said if this continues to deteriorate, we are going to need to reinforce our message here, and he thought if it came from us it would be even more powerful,” Graham said.

Graham said the idea originally came from Secretary of State John Kerry, who thought it was important for military leaders to hear first-hand from members of Congress, especially members of the president’s political opposition, that key players in the U.S. are on the same page. Graham and McCain met several times with members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the past.

“They want it to be someone from the Congress, not just the executive branch, so we can make it real to them that Congress is not going to tolerate a military takeover and throwing everyone in jail,” Graham said.

He said their message will be that they “expect you to move to a democratically elected government sooner rather than later, and putting people in opposition in jail is not sustainable.”

READ MORE: U.S. opts not to define Egypt ouster as a coup

Graham said it is still unclear when they will go and who they will meet with in Egypt, but that’s being worked out by the State Department.

“This is the way it used to be. All hands on deck. We want it to be that way again,” Graham said, referring to international crises.

He also noted that McCain going to Egypt on the president’s behalf should be especially symbolic, since he is not just Republican senator but Obama’s former opponent for the White House.

“I think it really does demonstrate how democracy works. They didn’t put John McCain in jail so he could never come back again,” Graham said.

“He has been helpful and challenging,” Graham said of McCain’s actions towards Obama since the GOP presidential nominee lost to the then-senator from Illinois in 2008. “This is the way over time things can work.”


Filed under: Congress • Egypt • John McCain • Lindsey Graham
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. chuck

    Middle East in turmoil. Egyptian unrest. Danger. Civil War or Religious War. So... the President sends his two sharpest adversaries. Smart. Real smart.

    July 31, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  2. Name

    Way to go president

    July 31, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  3. Just a thought

    Well, the Pres. keeps reaching out to these losers...I guess we need some reminder that this is still two party system, with the GOP/Tea Trolls representing the boat anchor to any possible progress.

    July 31, 2013 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  4. ZIMZAM

    It is perfectly appropriate for this Republican president to be represented by Republican senators.

    July 31, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  5. Henk

    This is a joke. The EU's High Representative Ashton has been making global headlines because she was the only one allowed to visit Morsi and now Washington suddenly wants to send a team as well. This is all about not wanting to look like second grade negotiators. The US has been heading the Palestine-Israel "peace process" for 60 years but have booked exactly ZERO results. Iraq is in misery. Afghanistan even more. US politicians should limit their damage to dealing with US national affairs.

    July 31, 2013 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  6. Henk

    What a laugh. The EU's High Representative Ashton has been making global headlines because she was the only one allowed to visit Morsi and now Washington suddenly wants to send a team as well. This is all about not wanting to look like second grade negotiators. The US has been heading the Palestine-Israel "peace process" for 60 years but have booked exactly ZERO results. Iraq is in misery. Afghanistan even more. US politicians should limit their damage to dealing with US national affairs.

    July 31, 2013 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  7. Shelbyann

    Yea, send they suckers to Egypt. Some a few hundred house republican with them.

    July 31, 2013 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  8. ahmedhany55

    Well but the impeached president Morsi faces criminal accusations by the prosecutor. He pardoned terrorists during his one year in office. More he encouraged killing his opponents and he employed a prosecutor general from his Brotherhood group who did nothing about murdering cases.

    July 31, 2013 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  9. ahmedhany55

    The man who killed the American Ambassador in Libya is present now with Morsi's supporters in Rab3a in Cairo. More important is that Ambassador Ann Paterson knows that but she did not tell the American Administration.

    July 31, 2013 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  10. @RI_Roger

    What; no liberal Democrats available to carry the Presidents water? Another example of the Democrat's weakness on foreign policy when they need to look to the other party to bail them out.

    July 31, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  11. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The Guns Over People Shutdown Government tea potty screams of "RINO" in 5,4,3,2,1.

    July 31, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  12. Dahlia AbdelFattah

    The senators are always welcome in Egypt but should be wary of interfering in aiding a terrorist group that has publicly declared its ties with terrorists attacking the Egyptian armed forces in Sinai. Already 45 Egyptian soldiers were killed not to mention tens of others, soldiers and protestors alike, during the lat year. Mr Morsi and his group have systematically sought to dismantle the Egyptian state and civil society to establish their own radical caliphate. He has placed himself above the law and targeted our judiciary. We appointed him and we have de dead to remove him. He And his ohirts will stand trial, according to the Egyptian law dor their crimes against te people of Egypt. Beware of Egypt's millions if they decide that te United States is not a friend of Egypt and its freedom. We are on the path to a true democracy, without exclusion or radicalism, The protestors in Raba'a are entitled to their brainwashed-allegiance; but we will stand fast against their attempts to provoke violence, spread terror and hate, use women and children and drag Egypt into chaos. Make no mistake – Egypt will survive and will remember its friends and its foes in this time of need. We sincerely hope that the United States will prove to be a friend, not an enemy.

    July 31, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
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