May 1st, 2014
05:20 PM ET
8 years ago

Graham to CNN: Jay Carney 'believes that we're all dumb'

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.

Filed under: Libya • Lindsey Graham
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. AzDem

    Graham -- You are!

    May 1, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. MaryM

    Well, Ms Lindsey, you are dumb. The benghazi information including the emails from the CIA are all over the internet for anyone to read. So, Ms Lindsey, Your spin is useless.

    May 1, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Graham to CNN: Jay Carney 'believes that we're all dumb'"

    Instructions for fixing that:

    1. Stop acting dumb.
    2. See No. 1.

    May 1, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "However, the intelligence community later said the event was a result of a coordinated terrorist attack-not a protest sparked by outrage over the video, which Rice had claimed on multiple television networks. "

    That's misleading (and no doubt on purpose), because you left out that it was, in fact, the intelligence community that said it was about the video in the first place.

    May 1, 2014 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    No... that's his boss

    May 1, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "If that is my motive, it will come out and I will have egg on my face,"

    It might look like albumen in some ways, but that ain't egg.

    May 1, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Tom

    Just because the right wing echo chamber declares something true, doesn't mean it is. In fact, when Benghazi is involved it is usually a lie.

    May 1, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Good lord. Who cares what the cause was??? Are they looking for the culprits or looking for dirt on the administration? This is ridiculous! IMO the administration should have never mentioned terrorists. Let them think they got away with it and then tracked them down and either tried them or droned them.

    The election wasn't that close. Mitt was way behind the POTUS. But I do believe the GOP cheated. But it just didn't work.

    May 1, 2014 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Dbleagle77

    So no proof will persuade you denizens of morality to acknowledge that Obama/Rice/Clinton etc lied? Saying that the Republicans are politicizing this attack is comical since the WH lied in order to get political gain. At least acknowledge the blatantly obvious fact that Dear Leader lied. Will you at least do that?

    May 1, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. silva

    GOP.........Eggs..........bla, bla, bla, bla...................................dumb !

    May 1, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |

    If someone will look you in the face and lie to you and flat out get get caught and not say they are sorry for the biggest lie ever and cause you to lose hours at work and cost you money And cost you money on what they call a junk insurance policy i liked mine .and make it go up in cost man tell you what i dont like dems they lie will tell you anything to your face . puke spit

    May 1, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. Tom l

    Why did Hillary Clinton tell the family members of those killed in Benghazi that they were going to arrest the guy who made the video? They had already known at that point it wasn't a video.

    Oh, and does anyone believe Jay Carney when he says that email wasn't about Benghazi?

    May 1, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. Donna

    Obama and all his flunkies like Jay Carney have been caught in so many lies at this point, it is simply not news anymore. The REAL news is when they are telling the truth. And with the Liar of the Year at the helm, that isn't happening very often.

    May 1, 2014 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. Cam

    Finally, the media is doing their job. Wake up liberals, this administration lied about Benghazi.

    May 1, 2014 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  15. Gurgyl

    --if you love USA, care for this nation, just get rid off this crook. Period. He is another nonsense to this nation, yes, he is. Yes, on Hillary16. Period.
    PS: Benghazi, birth certificate, Obamacare are totally immaterial.

    May 1, 2014 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. 2_indy1600

    Dumb is not being prepared for an attack on 911, anywhere in the world.

    May 1, 2014 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. JC

    If you read the email it literally says that the Benghazi attack was spontaneous and caused by the video. For Jay Carney to say that it was referring to the Middle East as a whole is a bold faced lie. I'm not so concerned with the Obama administration trying to save face and misleading the cause of the attack. I'm pretty sure any president would have done the same thing. I mean that video was a gift from god. What I do have a problem with was the decision to not send help. It took 8 hours for the attack to end, and we probably wouldn't have gotten anyone there in time, but as the attack was happening Clinton had no idea how long the staff was going to be able to hold off the attackers. It could have been 2 hours or 2 days. In hind sight you can say whatever you want, but in the moment you had no idea how long it was gonna last, and just giving up and saying that it's not worth it is deplorable.

    May 1, 2014 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Not ALL...

    Are YOU willing to say that the inflamatory video wans't the cause of ANY unrest in the Arab world? THAT would be dumb...

    May 1, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. Lisa P.

    From the mouths of babes...

    May 1, 2014 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Thomas

    If religious fundamentalist kidnapped your daughter and then married her off in an other country .

    What would you do ?

    Drones ?

    Take No Prisoners !

    May 1, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. Thomas

    John McCain and his South Carolina sidekick Lindsey Graham wish to thank Curveball and Ahmed Chalabi for all there valuable information in not finding WMD's in Iraq .

    May 1, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. i'malib

    Duh! We all know it was caused by a video.

    May 1, 2014 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  23. RWB1956

    Funny how different people can read so many thing into 1 e-mail. Attacking the ACA not working so good, Mr. G?

    May 1, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Adam Smith

    So, since the GOP wants to talk conspiracy theories, why don't we discuss how 911 was an inside job by the Bush / Cheney administration to usurp as much power as they could while providing their cronies with lucrative GI contracts at the tapayer expense?

    May 1, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. Gunderson

    Obama Administration comparing themselves to average voter. Old Gunderson wouldn't say Obama Administration dumb, just don't know which way up. Like their explainer Bill Clinton. Like 2 peas in a pod that don't know they are peas in a pod.

    May 1, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
1 2