Hagel:  McCain tells CNN he still doesn't have answers from WH
February 14th, 2013
11:12 AM ET
10 years ago

Hagel: McCain tells CNN he still doesn't have answers from WH

Washington (CNN) - Sen. John McCain - who has the ability to make or break the Hagel nomination - told CNN Thursday he had not received a White House letter with new information on the Benghazi attacks, exacerbating the partisan wrangling ahead of a looming Senate vote on cabinet nominee Chuck Hagel Friday.

A trio of Republican senators - McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham - have said they would hold up the Senate vote on Hagel until the White House answered questions about President Obama's communications with the Libyan government the night of the Benghazi attack.

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Late Wednesday, the White House sent a response to that question to Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. But as of Thursday morning, McCain said he had not seen that response and could not say how he would vote on Hagel. "I have not received the letter," McCain said Thursday. "They sent the letter to Sen. Levin. It was Sen Graham and I and Ayotte that asked for an answer. We haven't received an answer."

Before seeing the letter, McCain would not say whether he would support or oppose a move Friday to end a filibuster of Hagel's nomination. Democrats say right now they do not have the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. That could change if McCain is swayed by this letter. "I have to receive a letter, I have to receive a letter, see whether I receive a letter or not, and there are other questions that other senators have raised which are not answered as well," McCain said.

Filed under: Chuck Hagel • John McCain • Kelly Ayotte • Lindsey Graham
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Oh boy. How come no one else is complaining about not having received it? Just make sure that that Sen. Cruz doesn't get a copy of it, though. If it is a letter, then it is probably meant to be confidential, top secret. Cruz lacks the clearance because he has demonstrated that he lacks good judgment.

    February 14, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. Moose

    Dude, no one gets any answers, just B. S. from them but they do give a lot of that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    I don't know if I should yawn or laugh when I read about McCain anymore.
    I'll just say that whatever there was to admire in this man is long gone and leave it at that.

    February 14, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. ted

    McCain – I still want to know about your vetting process and how you came to choose Sarah Palin.

    February 14, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Bootstomper

    Republicans just can't come to grips with Obama winning a second term.

    February 14, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Terry

    This is really a can't-lose scenario for Democrats. Not even factoring in the fact that Hagel is a Republican, if the Senate does make the up-down vote, the nominee is confirmed. If the fillibuster holds, the GOP will be further labeled as obstructionist, putting party ahead of country. I wonder why the GOP doesn't see this. They can say they want this or that until they're blue in the face, but at the end of the day they are withholding confirmation of a president's cabinet choice for political reasons that have nothing to do with the nominnee....

    February 14, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. ja

    McCain need to take a note from the resigned Pope, McCain had served well, but today with all due respect he is a bit aged, as was Joe Paterno, move over improve the employment rate

    February 14, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. DannyCali

    Yeah.......you can wait until you retire WH not going to response, because they know that's you are the looser.

    February 14, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Kenneth

    So a letter was sent to one Senator, McCain knows the letter was sent to the Senator, but McCain wants his own "personal" letter because he is too LAZY to get the letter from another Senator???? THIS is what our tax money is paying for????? THIS kind of game NEEDS to CEASE! Just get the dang letter from the other Senator! Regardless of the letter I for one am pretty certain you have no intention of supporting ANYTHING the President does. So just stop trying to fool yourself Mr. McCain! First time in American history this has EVER happened and you want to hold up the Hagel nomination because of the Benghazi incident? Yes, hagel is nominated for the Defense Secretary position but was he involved in the incident when it occured? Were you Mr. McCain? Was anyone that may potentially be nominated??? Get over your sense of self importance and do the people's work for once and not the work of the Tea Party ... Obstructionism at it's very WORST!

    February 14, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Good Lord, McCain is really starting to look like a spoiled child.It is a shame that no one will remember him as a war hero but a mean, vindictive old man. Get over it MCCain you lost the 2008 election to President Obama.

    February 14, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Phil in KC

    The letter is unrelated to Hagel's nomination. I'm not a big Chuck Hagel fan, but they need to move on. The President needs to publicly challenge them to call the vote and, if not approved, explain clearly why they felt he is unqualified for the position.

    February 14, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. curious

    Politicans play politics, but republicans have become anti-American..

    February 14, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Maynard

    If John McCain and Lindsey Graham had give a solitary flying fling at a rolling donut about the bloody Iraq Fiasco, thousands of American lives would a million Iraqis would not have been murdered and maimed.

    Have you no shame Senators? Have you no conscience at all? Still drawing at the teats of AIPAC?

    February 14, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |