Politics

Graham chides Issa for calling Carney ‘a paid liar,’ but called Reid a liar last fall

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham criticized Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa for calling White House press secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar.”

Graham said the California Republican overstepped in his comments on CNN’s “State of the Union.” But he neglected his own history of questioning opponents’ honesty.

“Yeah,” Graham replied when asked by host Wolf Blitzer if Issa went too far. “He’s actually done a very good job on Benghazi and all of these issues of trying to find the truth. He’s right. Ms. Lerner didn’t take the Fifth Amendment because it was some rogue. I don’t know where this goes but it’s very disturbing that she would take the Fifth Amendment and the prior commissioner, acting commissioner, said he only went to the White House one time he could remember and that was an Easter egg hunt, and he actually went 150-something times.

“But you know — Jay Carney, calling the president’s press secretary a ‘paid liar’ doesn’t help get to the truth. It’s a distraction. It’s inappropriate. And if somebody called Darrell a liar, I’d be defending him. And Darrell, well you’ve done a good job. But you shouldn’t have done that. No, you shouldn’t have done that.”

But Graham hasn’t been consistent on this policy of not accusing figures of lying publicly. Back in August 2012, Graham accused his colleague Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of lying about his claim that a source told him then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had not paid taxes for a decade.

“One last thing — you didn’t ask me about Harry Reid,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on August 5, 2012. “I’ve been around this town for a while. I actually like Harry, but what he did on the floor of the Senate is so out of bounds. I think he’s lying about his statement of knowing something about Romney.”

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