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Sen. John McCain on 'This Week'

The Arizona Republican on the Benghazi investigation and Syria.
3:00 | 05/12/13

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Transcript for Sen. John McCain on 'This Week'
Good morning welcome. The fallout I don't ambassador the friend said -- were under attack. New hearings and new revelations -- Ghazi. Is that a political cover off the White House has done everything possible to block access or. Politics as usual Republicans have chosen to politicize this will it hurt the president or Hillary Clinton. NASCAR headliners. Senators John McCain and -- three. Plus I don't make decisions based on perceived Obama -- -- nine on Syria. This is a -- lot more important to me the run for president Chris Christie surprised. And on this Mother's Day and I also. Tot -- in congress in our Sunday spotlight we have a woman's bathroom right off of the floor -- first time for some 200 years. From ABC news this -- with George Stephanopoulos. Reporting from the museum in Washington. Part of the -- Hello again -- is off today great to have you with fast. The political storm over Ben Ghazi is growing and new this morning the Obama administration on the defensive. After ABC news obtained emails showing extensive edits to the disputed talking points issued after the attack. When one version suggested al-Qaeda affiliates took part in the CIA warned of threats secretary Clinton's spokesperson objected. Writing that could be abuse by members of congress to beat up the State Department. For not paying attention to warnings so why would we want to feedback. Friday my colleague chief White House correspondent John Karl who exclusively obtained the emails question White House spokesperson Jay -- Easy I am original version included references to al-Qaeda those were taken out after the CIA -- special draft and in the CIA wrote another draft. At these it -- postings are well but here's here's what I've been saying yeah. No -- there was an interagency process which is always the case because a lot of agencies have staked the whole effort here by Republicans to find some. Hidden mystery. Comes to nothing because the president called it an act of terror. Joining us now Republican Senator John McCain. Nice to have you here Senator McCain what do you make of the White House response that I just pick up on what you just showed mr. Carney said president didn't call -- an act of terror and. In fact two weeks later. Before the UN he was talking about. Hateful videos and spontaneous demonstration I think the White House and we probably say they're there was the remark that it was a terror attack although it didn't seem rather Sarah act what he did say the day after -- he condemned acts of terrorism. But then that night within I think was sixty minutes and lecture interview and then throughout the next two weeks. He kept saying. That it was caused by a spontaneous demonstration. Sparked by -- hateful video he kept saying that over and over again and condemning that. What you've got to look at this in the context of the times there in the midst of a presidential campaign the narrative by the Obama campaign is that. Bin Laden is dead that with al-Qaeda is on the run not to worry about anything in here comes -- of this attack. I'm been -- and there's so many questions that are unanswered. We need to select committee but for the president's spokesman to say. That -- it was only words or technical changes made in those emails is a flat out -- I like mr. Carney. But that that's just not acceptable for the president's spokesman to say that to the American people. We now know any reference to act of terror any reference to al-Qaeda were removed from those talking points and it was done -- a deputies meeting. Just before. Susan Rice would not cover up. I'd call -- a cover -- I would call it a cover up in the extent that there was willful. Removal of information. Which was obvious it was obvious mr. hicks said in his testimony -- jaw dropped when he saw Susan lives. That. I was on I was on another. -- Sunday morning show after she was rice my jaw dropped he said but people don't bring. Rocket propelled grenades and mortars to spontaneous demonstration. Let's talk about what's happened with Republicans this week -- because of these emails. First of all ambassador Thomas Pickering who I spoke to who did the original review said the idea of some sort of government cover up is absurd. The congressman Stephen King Republican from Iowa said it was bigger than Watergate. And this is what Oklahoma senator James in -- -- They -- may be starting to use I would -- before tomorrow. -- crazy UGI word meaning impeachment. Yeah of all the great cover ups in history -- -- the Pentagon papers the the -- ran contrary Watergate and all the rest and this is gonna go down as the most serious most egregious cover up in American history. -- with -- -- -- without due respect -- idea I think this is a serious issue. I will even give the president -- -- benefit of the doubt on some of these things we need a select committee. We need -- -- you -- -- -- Hillary Clinton. I think that the secretary of state has played a role witness and she had a role in those emails. She had to have been in the loop that someone but we don't know for sure but I do know. That her response before the foreign relations committee who cares them when -- -- well who cares how this happened. Rather emotional way. Lot of people care -- say -- respect of the secretary of state so -- like to see her back on the hill Cassel sure. We -- we need to select committee that interviews everybody. I don't know what level of of scandal -- -- quote. This rises to. But I know it rises to the level where it requires. A full and complete ventilation. These. Faction -- here we are nine months later and we're still uncovering information. Which frankly contradiction the regional line that the administration took and so. We need to select committee and I hope we'll get it. And the American people deserve it just just quickly I want it I want to go back to the testimony of Gregory hicks and he talked about bringing military assets in. Bringing planes in the military says that wasn't possible. You agree with the fact that it wasn't possible. I cannot find I find it impossible to comprehend. Why on September 11. The day we all know is so important. -- -- there have been numerous warnings about the security of at that consulate. That we didn't have forces that were capable of doing so. And aware of seven and a half hour period with -- assets we have in the region. We couldn't have an F sixteen at low altitude flyover. Those people who were attacking our consulate. Of what and -- another question is why weren't -- forces capable of going to defend that console I want to move on to Syria it's been more than a week since Israeli jets hit targets in Syria. More than two weeks since the US said that there was evidence of the use of chemical weapons. What should be happening now. Concerning. Especially these chemical weapons and the Red Line that president talked about. The president said he wants he UN investigation the only problem when that is the UN can't -- -- -- In to Syria. And we -- this morning that -- -- forces are making incredible. Gains yeah. You -- talking about which had no fly zone striking targets what good does that do. Well first listening gates they're here assets and that kind of -- and that kind of weather. Here is a is that decisive factor. In this kind of kind of got a decisive action in doing what what's -- well we take out -- -- we establish -- no -- no boots on the ground no American boots on the ground that's still a lot of rest picking -- that Arafat and with the Russians have said they would move in -- if they move in and anti aircraft they move in areas such as if they move that hand it's gonna make it more complicated and certainly may be gives us a little bit of skepticism about a conference but. We can provide them with a safe -- we can provide them placed organize inside Syria we can give them heavy weapons that they needs who's sick and -- tank -- them. I I know them I've met them. They're there but the idea to keep out the rebels -- because you got al-Qaeda rebels -- running around lots of these are legitimate question sure asking. But they aren't there and he put him inside seriously than they haven't been Ghazi than they have a place to organized. -- -- the identified the right people. These jihadist aren't there aren't that many of them. They're just so good because -- and fighting all over the Middle East for all these years and they're not afraid to die. But we could still organize. A legitimate. And non jihadist group that are already there they've got a great general they've got a fine man who is in charge of the Syrian. Syrian national council. Look we can everybody -- -- said they just can't possibly fat -- -- they should they said they couldn't penetrate. Without great cost Syrian air defenses I think did the Israelis just kind of blow -- while I -- not I'm not I'm not sure they went into Syria are you sure they went I'm sure they took out I'm sure they took out assets of on the sides in Syria. Which is exactly what we could do with cruise missiles and with patriot missiles so and that. Obviously blows a hole mile wide and -- Joint Chiefs of Staff who proved again if you don't wanna do something they can find. Reasons not to do it. But what we either. You've got two choices either let this continue as you just mentioned has blessed now Wallin and the initiatives and it is now on the side by -- -- You can do that. Or. You can go in and you can give them a safe zone and you can give them but you know weapons that they need. And the and the help that they need. And stop this unconscionable slaughter and the present by saying red line that's what you hear of -- he gave a green light to all this massacres. And -- shameful chapter in American history. Thanks for joining us this morning Senator McCain.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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