How Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham spent their afternoon
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) Benghazi tantrums is the extent to which he's confused. It'd be offensive in a general sense if the senator tried to exploit a terrorist attack for petty, partisan gain, but in this case, McCain seems outraged about details he simply doesn't understand.
If there's anyone in Washington who would benefit from a detailed briefing on what actually transpired in Benghazi in September, it's the senator who's throwing fits over what he thinks happened in Benghazi in September.
As luck would have it, the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which McCain is a member of, received a classified, closed-door briefing for nearly two hours yesterday, receiving up-to-date information. What did McCain learn from the briefing? Nothing -- according to the Republican ranking member on the committee, McCain failed to show up.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the top Republican on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, backed up her chairman, Lieberman, and dinged McCain, a member of the panel, for missing Wednesday's nearly two-hour briefing in the Capitol.
Both Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, "who was there at briefing, and Sen. McCain, who was not, are members of our committee, and I know they would play very important roles," Collins told POLITICO after the briefing.
In context, Collins was answering questions about McCain's demand for a special congressional committee to investigate the attack that killed four Americans in September. Both she and Joe Lieberman have said they don't see such a step as necessary -- there are already committees in place in the House and Senate to get answers -- and they reiterated that belief after yesterday's briefing.
But what's unclear is why McCain didn't bother to attend the lengthy briefing on a subject he claims to care so deeply about. McCain had time yesterday to appear in front of cameras to talk about Benghazi, but didn't have time to get more information about Benghazi?
Update: According to a CNN report, McCain hosted his press conference demanding more information during the hearing in which he could have received more information.
Second Update: Josh Rogin also reported, "[A]lthough McCain had time to speak on the Senate floor and on television about the lack of information provided to Congress about the attack, he didn't attend the classified briefing."
"If you want answers, a good first step is to show up and ask a question," an administration official told Rogin. "That's what a senator does."