Three Republican U.S. senators wrote to President Obama Friday demanding to know where Obama was on the night of the Benghazi U.S. Consulate attack on Sept. 11, 2012.
Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said it’s time for the White House to disclose the president’s location on the night four Americans, including Libyan Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed during an assault on the consulate.
Former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Fox News on Thursday that the president was not in the White House basement Situation Room at the time of the attack, prompting Republicans to wonder if Obama’s absence had an influence on the White House’s botched response.
“Over a year and a half has passed since the terrorist attacks, and the American people still do not have an accounting of your activities during the attack. Mr. President, can you now confirm that Mr. Vietor’s account of your absence in the White House Situation Room is accurate?” the letter asks.
Vietor also noted that the president’s daily intelligence briefing happens in the Oval Office, and said the president had the capability to monitor real-time events constructed from American intel outside of the specially equipped “situation room.”
Vietor told Fox News’s Bret Baier he believed it was time to stop looking for evidence of an administration cover-up to make the terrorist attack look like a spontaneous demonstration gone bad.
“Dude, this was two years ago,” Vietor said. “We’re still talking about the most mundane thing.”
Those sentiments were echoed Thursday by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who described the re-emergence of the issue as Republican “subterfuge” and “diversion.”
“Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi — why aren’t we talking about something else?” Pelosi said. ”If you all want to sit around and talk about Benghazi, you can sit around and talk about Benghazi. But the fact is, that’s a subterfuge that they don’t want to talk about jobs, growth, immigration reform, voting rights — you name it.”
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa announced his intention to subpoena Secretary of State John Kerry to testify in regard to Benghazi Friday after a recently disclosed White House email revealed the administration tried to shape the State Department’s explanation of the attack to sound more like a spontaneous demonstration.
Shortly after Speaker of the House John Boehner announced his intention to assemble a special select committee to investigate Benghazi in response to the same email.
Issa’s subpoena orders Kerry to appear before the House Oversight Committee on May 21, and Boehner’s select committee will have face approval on the House floor before being assembled.