WASHINGTON — A White House letter requested by the Republican senators who are blocking Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be U.S. defense secretary mainly quotes from parts of a public State Department report.
Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire asked the White House for additional information about President Barack Obama’s actions during and after the Benghazi attack.
Defense News obtained a copy of the Feb. 14 letter from White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, which offers little information beyond the State Department-commissioned independent assessment on the deadly attack.
Graham told reporters he is “generally” satisfied with its contents, but still opposes a planned Friday morning vote on Hagel’s nomination.
It is unclear whether Democrats have 60 votes to kill a GOP filibuster.
McCain acknowledged to reporters the letter leaned heavily on findings of the independent State-commissioned review.
But he said it satisfied his concerns because “it stated, plainly, that the president never spoke with anybody in Libya.”