Updated 5:53 p.m. ET, 5/2/2014
(CNN) – Sen. Lindsey Graham said he was offended by White House spokesman Jay Carney's comments about new emails that reinforce Republicans' claims that the White House purposely gave misleading information about the Benghazi attack for political reasons.
"I guess he believes that we're all dumb," the South Carolina Republican told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash on Thursday.
"To say that this wasn't trying to shape the Benghazi story is inconsistent with the document itself, flies in face of the facts, and yet another insulting, misleading lie."
The new documents indicate that when White House officials were preparing then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to appear on news shows just days after the deadly assault, they outlined a set of talking points about demonstrations sparked by an anti-Muslim video. During her interviews Rice blamed the attack on the protests.
However, the intelligence community later said the event was a result of a coordinated terrorist attack–not protests.
The talking points for Rice have been at the center of a largely partisan debate since September 2012 over who crafted the memos and why the protests were blamed.
Carney said this week that the newly released emails were referring to the overall political climate in the Middle East in September 2012, when there were demonstrations in other parts of the Muslim world over the video.
"This document, as I said, was explicitly not about Benghazi, but about the general dynamic in the Arab - or in the Muslim world at the time," Carney said Wednesday. He reiterated Thursday that Republicans were simply trying to make political hay out of the issue and "claim a conspiracy."
But Graham, one of the most vocal critics of the administration over the issue, said the newly uncovered emails are "the closest thing to a smoking gun I've seen to prove" the White House was purposely trying to mislead the public, just weeks before the 2012 presidential election.
"This was an email trying to shape the story away from what would have been a damaging admission of failure of foreign policy seven weeks before an election," he continued.
Graham, who's running for re-election this fall, also pushed against the idea that he's staying on top of the issue just so he can rally Republican voters behind him at the ballot box.
"If that is my motive, it will come out and I will have egg on my face, and I will go down very poorly as a United States senator," he said.