Lindsey Graham 2016: Fox News' Ideal Benghazi Candidate

Fox News established close ties with Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, as each used one another to amplify smears against the Obama administration related to the Benghazi attacks in 2012. Now Graham is cashing in the credibility and profile Fox and Benghazi helped him build, announcing he's exploring a run for president in 2016.

Sen. Lindsey Graham May Run For President In 2016

Graham Says He's Exploring A Presidential Run Because “The World Is Falling Apart” And Claims He's “Been More Right Than Wrong On Foreign Policy. On the January 18 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, Graham announced that he established a committee to explore the possibility of running for president in 2016, adding, “I think the world is falling apart, and I've been more right than wrong when it comes to foreign policy.” [NBC News, Meet the Press1/18/15]

Fox News Turned To Graham More Than Any Other Lawmaker To Push Benghazi Myths

Fox News Asked Graham About Benghazi On 27 Occasions. In 2014, a Media Matters study found that 97 percent of all interviews on Fox about Benghazi with members of Congress and administration officials were with Republicans. The study also found that Fox asked Graham about Benghazi on 27 occasions, the most of any government official interviewed. [Media Matters9/16/14]

Fox News Pushed Graham's Claim That Benghazi Survivors Were Silenced. Fox's Megyn Kelly echoed Graham's claim that he met with Benghazi survivors who said they were being “told to be quiet” about the attacks. Kelly similarly claimed the witnesses are “being told by the feds to keep quiet.” [Media Matters, 3/20/13]

Fox GaveGraham A Platform To Push For Benghazi Select Committee Investigation. Graham appeared on the April 9 edition of On the Record to push for a House select committee to investigate Benghazi, even though a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence already investigated the 2012 attacks. [Fox News, On the Record, 4/9/14]

Fox's Van Susteren Allowed Graham To Blame Russian Invasion Of Ukraine On Benghazi. On the March 3 edition of On the Record, host Greta van Susteren asked Graham to clarify comments he made claiming that Obama “has a weak and indecisive policy that invites aggression.” Graham explained that the Russian invasion of Ukraine “in many ways started with Benghazi, when our consulate was overrun and our first ambassador was killed in thirty-something years in the line of duty ... You're sending absolutely the wrong signal to our foes.” [Fox News, On the Record, 3/4/14]

Fox Promoted Graham's Threats To Block Presidential Nominations Until Benghazi Witnesses Are Made Available For Questioning. On October 28, 2013, Fox & Friends hosted Graham, who asserted “I'm going to block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to Congress,” even though Benghazi witnesses had already been questioned by Congress. Greta van Susteren also reported on Graham's threat without noting that witnesses had already been questioned. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/28/13; Fox News, On the Record, 10/28/13]

Graham Championed Benghazi Myths Into The Mainstream Media

CBS' 60 Minutes Aired A Critically Flawed Report On Benghazi After Correspondent Lara Logan Consulted With Graham. New York magazine article revealed how Logan met several times with Graham while putting together her initial Benghazi report. After the report aired, Graham heralded it as a “death blow” to the Obama administration. 60 Minutes and Logan later apologized for the inaccuracies in the report. [Media Matters5/5/14; CBS News, 11/8/13]

In The Days After The Flawed 60 Minutes Report On Benghazi, Graham Threatened To Block Executive Branch Nominees. In the days after the 60 Minutes report, Graham appeared on Fox News and CNN to threaten to hold up President Obama's executive branch nominees until Benghazi survivors were made available for questioning, dishonestly implying that no witnesses had yet been questioned. [CNN, The Situation Room10/29/13]

Graham Praised Fox News' Benghazi Coverage

Graham: “Thank God For Fox” For Their Benghazi Coverage. On the May 13, 2013 edition of On the Record, Graham said “Thank God for Fox” for their Benghazi coverage. [Fox News, 5/13/13]