Over the past few days we've heard just how upset John McCain has been about Susan Rice's maybe-nomination because of how she handled the terror attacks in Benghazi and the lack of information he's been given regarding those attacks. He was so busy doing that, that he missed a classified Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing yesterday. Oops. Slate's Dave Weigel reports that, according to McCain's camp, it wasn't on purpose:
McCain spox Brian Rogers: "Senator McCain was absent from the [Benghazi] hearing due to a scheduling error."— daveweigel (@daveweigel) November 15, 2012
The "scheduling error" was apparently a press conference McCain held yesterday with fellow Senators Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham. That happened shortly before noon yesterday. According to the liveblogs, appearances, and reports, McCain's Wednesday into early Thursday went like this:
- 10:30-10:36 a.m. Show up at The Atlantic's Washington Ideas Forum and take the stage
- 10:48 a.m. Start talking about Benghazi with fellow Senator Lindsay Graham
- 10:54 a.m. Complain about Benghazi. "What did the president know, when did he know it, and when did he do about it?" McCain asked according to The Atlantic's liveblog of the event.
- 10:57 a.m. Talk about Benghazi and Susan Rice. "McCain says, bluntly, yes -- and says he'd filibuster to prevent her confirmation, which would be an unusual move," reported The Atlantic's David Graham.
- 11:02 a.m. Finish talking about Benghazi. " He says it's simply not credible that the administration believed that what happened in Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration." reports Graham.
- 11:04 a.m. McCain steps off stage
- Sometime around 11:30 a.m. a closed and classified hearing by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs occurred (to be fair, the classified hearing is not on their schedule). We know that there was an overlap because Sen. Joe Lieberman, as Politico's Scott Wong and Kate Nocera report, would have been at the press conference but was in the classified meeting.
- Around 11:40 a.m. McCain, Ayotte and Graham hold a 30-minute press conference pushing for a Watergate-style investigation on Benghazi
- 11:09 p.m. Gets a shoutout tweet from David Axelrod about his absence at the classified hearing:
Sen McCain had plenty of time today for a demagogic presser on Benghazi, but none 2 attend a classified briefing on it?bit.ly/PVswQv— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 15, 2012
- This morning: went on the Today show to talk about Benghazi and Rice again:
- Later this morning a.m. McCain is asked about holding a press conference during the hearing, get really mad, and won't give a comment to CNN's Senate producer about it.
McCain this morning fielded a question about wrong information regarding his defense of the Bush administration's claims that Iraq had WMDs: "Every intelligence agency in the world, including the British, believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ... That’s an entirely different situation." said McCain. Apparently didn't need to go to the security briefing to know that.