Fox News
March 08, 2013

Benghazi: Six Months of Deceit

Guests: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 8, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: It has been six months since the Benghazi terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, and still there are more questions than answers about what happened that tragic night in September.

Over the course of the next hour, we will examine what we know now and what the White House is still trying to cover up, because to this day, the stonewalling by the Obama administration continues. Now, just this week, Fox News has learned from Republican lawmakers that they have not been granted access to speak to the survivors of the consulate attack.

Joining me now with reaction, someone who has been demanding answers since day one, Senator Lindsey Graham, he is back with us. Senator, welcome back, sir.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: Thank you and God bless Fox News.

HANNITY: Well, thank you for saying that. I met Ty Woods' father.

GRAHAM: Yes.

HANNITY: I've got it tell you something, his son gave his life saving other people and we deserve answers. This has gone on too way long. When will we get to speak to some of these survivors because I think a lot of the gaps that we currently have can be filled by them, they were there.

GRAHAM: We're going to write a letter, myself, Senator Ayotte and McCain to Secretary Kerry asking him to make the survivors available to the Congress, so the appropriate committees can interview the survivors about what happened that night.

Six months later, what do we know, Sean? We know that the story told by Susan Rice on 16th of September that the consulate was significantly, substantially and strongly secured has collapsed. We know her story and the president's story that there was no evidence of an Al Qaeda attack caused by a hateful video that led to a spontaneous riot has collapsed. We know that the story they told us for weeks after the attack no longer holds water.

HANNITY: All right, we've got three aspects to this, Senator. We've got the before, the during and the after so --

GRAHAM: Absolutely.

HANNITY: So on the before part, do we have an answer to the question, why was the request, numerous requests by Ambassador Stevens denied when it comes to Benghazi and the extra added security that he said he needed?

GRAHAM: Well, we know the answer. The State Department denied their request because they were trying to pursue a foreign policy that was quite frankly ill conceived. They objected, the military, the American military and contractors securing the consulate, they wanted to basically lead from behind and outsource security to a nonexistent government in Benghazi, so the president is the primary culpable party here.

His leading from behind strategy of trying to basically have a very low American footprint led to this debacle called Benghazi. We also know that Secretary Clinton did not have a clear idea of the threats in Benghazi because she never received any information coming from Chris Stevens and other people on the ground in Benghazi and Tripoli about the threats they faced. So she was not clear eyed. She was deaf and blind and before the attack is a clear example of a failed foreign policy, a detached president and a deaf and blind secretary of state.

HANNITY: I mean, what I'm having a hard time wrapping my hands around here is this was a hot bed of terrorist training. Everybody knows that and when an ambassador is requesting additional security you would think that threat would be taken seriously and this is the first ambassador killed in 30 years.

All right, now during the attack, we've learned a couple of things that are very troubling to me. I want you to weigh in on this. I was shocked when Leon Panetta, the defense secretary at that time, actually goes out there and said, "I informed the president when it started." He never updated him, and I think it was you that was asking, wasn't the president at all curious about what was happening?

GRAHAM: During the attack, the president of the United States never made a phone call to anyone in Libya. Remember, the hostage rescue team, the six-man team was held up at the Benghazi airport for three and a half hours. The secretary of state never talked to the secretary of defense.

HANNITY: Well, I would think that that would be a basic thing to do and that didn't happen and I'd like to get answers regarding that. Now we've got the after, you referred earlier to Susan Rice, the five Sunday shows obviously, that she went on this, whole narrative that this was all connected to, a YouTube video, none of which panned out to be true.

But it wasn't just Susan Rice, it was also President Obama himself, you know, two weeks later, he goes before the U.N., he's still advancing that false narrative that this YouTube video is involved. No evidence whatsoever to back up that claim, and to the contrary, the president of Libya and others were saying, has nothing to do with what happened.

GRAHAM: On the day that she was on television telling us there's no evidence of an Al Qaeda element here, this was a spontaneous event caused by video, the president of Libya on the same day said this is an Al Qaeda attack. The secretary of defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs testified before the Armed Services Committee, they knew on the night in question, 11 September, this was a terrorist attack.

So, how could the president and Susan Rice be telling the American people and the world there's no evidence of a terrorist attack, when his own secretary of defense and chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff knew that night it was.

So obviously, no one is talking to each other, but my belief is, the story they were telling was a politically motivated story, they wanted to preserve the narrative that bin Laden was dead, Al Qaeda was on the run, being dismantled. And if it were true that al Qaeda had attacked our consulate in Benghazi on September 11th, it would undercut that narrative. So I think there's no justification for what the president and Susan Rice said. I think after the attack that there was an effort by this administration to basically conceal the truth.

HANNITY: I think there was. I think that's clear it's self-evident at this point. I've never heard a spontaneous attack where people just happen to have rocket propelled grenades and mortars in their back pocket so the narrative never exactly fit for me, Senator. I think it was deceit from the beginning and America's bias abusive news media, lab dog media went along with it. They never asked the tough questions, which we should have had answered before the election.

GRAHAM: Here is what we've learned from here. The media has been absolutely AWOL except for Fox and CBS. Can you imagine if this were Bush? And Bush was telling the American people there's no evidence of a terrorist attack here. This was a spontaneous event caused by a video and his own secretary of defense knew early on it was a terrorist attack, the reaction.

But the British closed their consulate in Benghazi in June because they had been attacked in June, our consulate had been attacked twice. The president is the primary responsible party here and we're going to keep pressing. We want the witness interviews and who the survivors are so we can get the truth in Benghazi out and we're not going to stop until we get the truth.

HANNITY: All right, Senator, thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

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