OTR Interviews

Sen. Kyl: President Obama needs to answer Benghazi questions before election, Americans can decide whether they want to rehire him

Four senators suggest administration is 'deliberately stonewalling' Congress, demand Obama to respond to requests for info on Libya attacks


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 31, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: So is the Obama administration deliberately stonewalling about Libya? As we said, a group of Republican senators is demanding answers today. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl joins us. Good evening, sir.

SEN. JON KYL, R-ARIZ, REPUBLICAN WHIP: Good evening, Greta. Nice to talk to you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice talking to you. Senator, there have been at least about seven letters from Senator McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, Ayotte, and I mean, it -- you know, and -- they don't get answered. And they've been going out over a period of time. Are these letters just sort of a futile gesture, or will something happen from them?

KYL: No, I've read the letters. They ask precisely the right questions. And let's just respond to a couple of things that have occurred already this evening. First of all, Catherine Herridge, who you interviewed, has done incredibly good reporting on the story from day one.

In fact, David Ignatius in The Washington Post yesterday wrote a piece in which he complimented Fox News for raising all of these important questions, which he said had to be answered. And then he listed a group of the questions, some of which you've raised here.

And he also says that the timeline of events should be provided before the election, not after the election. And Greta, if I could make that point right now -- you have so many questions about the commander-in-chief and what he did or what he didn't do, whether his orders were clear, that this has to be cleared up before the election, so we, the people who employ the commander-in-chief, can make a decision about whether we wanted to rehire him.

And I would just mention, according to Congressman Chaffetz, the order that the president allegedly gave, that he said he gave, may not have been clear. And one of the first things in military doctrine, of course, is commander's intent. The people who follow the commander's orders need to know what his intentions are. If his order was not clear, we need to know that. If it was clear, we need to know why it wasn't carried out because, presumably, it wasn't carried out, or there would have been action to protect the people in Benghazi.

And Greta, can I make one other point? Catherine's report about the cable left out one other thing. According to her reporting, the cable also noted the fact that in the run-up to all of these events, there was a question about whether or not the Libyan forces themselves could provide protection. And the cable said that the security officer at the consulate didn't think that the Libyans had the capability of doing it, that these al Qaeda affiliates didn't pay any attention to them, that they didn't respect them at all.

And yet when there was a call for help during the events as they were transpiring, our forces had to wait about 20 minutes at least for the authority to go forward. And this was only -- I'm not sure, maybe six or eight people at most -- they had to wait that long while our government checked with the Libyan forces to see whether they could show up and do any good. And of course, they couldn't. So eventually, our guys were told to go ahead, one of whom was killed.

There are so many things about this that need answered, the preparation beforehand, the security beforehand that didn't happen, when we knew that there had been threats, we knew that there were warnings. There had been requests for more security, all denied. The events that transpired on that horrible evening, where there are too many unanswered questions about what kind of orders the president gave and whether or not people complied with those orders.

And then something we haven't even talked about, but I talked too long here, and that is the follow-up, the fact that, obviously, we're not following up very well because the president doesn't want to have to send anybody to Guantanamo or some other country for interrogation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, one of the issues your raised, I mean, about the fact that -- of getting to know it before election, and I -- and I was talking to Speaker Gingrich the other night on the air. And I thought that it was, you know, quote, my word, is something that's unfortunate this happens just about the time in the election because everyone's going to yell politics.

Speaker Gingrich pointed out to me that this has been going on now for about seven weeks. And it's the fact there hasn't -- haven't been answers from the administration which has pushed this up against the election, which I -- you know, which I think is very good point.

Another thing that hasn't been discussed is that we actually, since the bombings of the embassies in East Africa in 1997 or '98, we actually have an organization designed to sort of war game out strategies if our embassies are attacked.

I don't know where they were or where they fall into this because, you know, I certainly would have engaged them immediately to see what was the best -- you know, what would be a smart thing, whether military action should happen or not. But there are a lot of unanswered questions on this, Senator. And I'm going to take the last word on that, but I do hope you'll come back, sir, as more things unfold.

KYL: I'd be happy to. Thanks, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, sir.