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Fox News "Hannity" - Transcript - Benghazi

Interview

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BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

HANNITY: Now, still to this day, nine months later, a number of important unanswered questions exist about Benghazi.

Number one, who was responsible for editing those talking points and pushing the YouTube narrative?

Number two, during the eight hours that Americans were fighting for their lives, what was the president doing?

Number three, who ordered our military to stand down when they were ready to help those that were under fire?

Now, one thing is certain, that thanks to today's announcement, it's going to be awfully difficult for Congressional investigators to ask Susan Rice any of those questions. Now, why? Well, because you wouldn't know it, but her new post does not require Senate approval. And even more importantly, as a member of the White House staff, the president can prevent her from having to testify by invoking executive privilege.

Joining me now with reaction, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. He has been all over the Benghazi case. Senator, welcome back.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: That's a pretty darn good lead in. Well done.

HANNITY: Well, just trying to lay out the facts. Thank you.

Well, what is your reaction, first of all?

GRAHAM: Well, number one, let me tell you what Greg Hicks said about Susan Rice's Sunday appearances. This is the number two guy in Libya, our second in charge diplomat, the last guy to talk to Chris Stevens before he died. He said when he heard Susan Rice appear on Sunday television, he was "stunned, my jaw dropped and I was embarrassed." She gets promoted and he gets demoted. What is wrong with this story?

HANNITY: Yes. What are the unanswered questions that you have? And what do you think her responsibility is in all of this?

GRAHAM: Well, number one, I don't think she was an empty vessel that they just poured misinformation through. She also said -- and this is not in the talking points -- that the consulate was strongly significantly and substantially secured, and she reminded the American people that Bin Laden was dead and Al Qaeda was decimated.

That is not in the talking points. She was selling the strength of the president's foreign policy. She was providing deceptive and misleading misinformation about the true facts in Benghazi. She has a credibility problem and I think with the average American, she is chosen by the president to be his national security adviser. She was unconformable as secretary of state.

Having said all that, I will work with her because the world is about to blow up, Barack Obama's foreign policy is a failure, and our friends are scared, our enemies are emboldened.

But what I want to know? I want to hear from survivors. Nine months after the attack, Sean, we haven't heard from one person in Benghazi. Nine months after the attack, we don't know who on that Saturday before she appeared on the Sunday television programs changed the talking points. Who was in the meeting in the White House that went from the truth to garbage and changed the talking points?

And quite frankly, we don't know anything what our president did during that evening. They made two movies about the bin Laden raid. He has given one interview after another about the leadership in the bin Laden raid and he deserves credit. We don't even know when he went to bed.

HANNITY: I'd like to know -- when I first heard this, my first reaction is all right, this is the president, because she doesn't need Senate confirmation, just poking it in the eye of Republicans. What was your first thought?

GRAHAM: I thought, is this the kind of person that -- name one person who has been demoted that was in a position of responsibility. Name one person who has lost their job because of Benghazi.

You know, Susan Rice being promoted or being chosen as national security adviser after her performance in Benghazi basically is the president telling us, "I have no problem with what my administration did in Benghazi misleading the American people," basically telling a narrative that didn't hold water seven weeks before the election. He is very comfortable with his leadership and what she told the American people, and to me that's stunning that he hasn't paid a bigger price.

HANNITY: All right. Another thought that crossed my mind. I call it chasing rabbits. That is -- with all the scandals the president is going through --

GRAHAM: Yes.

HANNITY: He wants the media talking about other things. And he knew with this appointment everybody would talk about this.

Do you think that maybe there is a trap set here for Republicans kind of hoping that Republicans are going to go out there and attack Susan Rice and Samantha Powers and hoping that they say something that is over the top?

GRAHAM: I don't know if, you know, if they are that cleaver about it. I just think the president has chosen somebody he feels comfortable with, and I will work with Susan Rice because the Middle East is on fire right now. The king of Jordan hanging by threads. Syria is falling apart. Our friends in Israel under siege. The Russians are providing Assad with very advanced weapons.

So, I need to work with the administration when I can.

HANNITY: All right. Quick answers. Rapid fire questions.

GRAHAM: Sure.

HANNITY: Number one, do we know in Benghazi, do we know why or who denied the additional security that was requested?

GRAHAM: No, but I think you have to blame Secretary Clinton because it was her job to provide security.

HANNITY: Do we know who gave the stand-down orders?

GRAHAM: No. I want to know who told Colonel Gibson (ph), he couldn't go to the fight when he wanted to go to the fight.

HANNITY: Do we know where the president was that night after he had been told at 4:00 in the afternoon?

GRAHAM: I think everybody in Benghazi needs to know where their commander in chief was that night and what he did to try to help them, and we have no clue.

HANNITY: Do we know who -- after the original talking points were the truth, they evolve into a web of lies. Do we definitively know where that came from?

GRAHAM: We know it came from our group meeting in the White House. We don't know who was in the meeting, we don't know who chaired the meeting and we don't know how it got to be from the truth to a bunch of garbage.
And I will not stop until we found out. We haven't heard from one survivor in Benghazi. I cut a small forest down trying to get the survivors made available to Congress. They are stone walling the Congress.

We're going to find out the answers to all of these questions because the American people deserve it.

HANNITY: All right. They do, and especially the families that lost loved ones.

GRAHAM: Especially the families.

HANNITY: Senator, good to see you. Thank you. Glad you are staying on it.


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