Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) claimed in a series of Tuesday morning tweets that there will be “no Benghazis” under President Donald Trump hours after Iraqi militiamen stormed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, smashing windows and setting fires.
“Very proud of President [Trump] acting decisively in the face of threats to our embassy in Baghdad,” Graham wrote.
“He has put the world on notice ― there will be no Benghazis on his watch.”
Graham referred to the deadly 2012 terrorist attack at a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that has long been fodder for conspiracy theorists peddling the idea that Obama administration officials had prior knowledge of the attack that killed four Americans, or otherwise ignored warnings about it. The officials also were criticized for initially claiming the attack grew out of a spontaneous demonstration, rather than being planned, and that rescue efforts were launched belatedly.
In June 2016, following eight other investigations, the Republican-controlled House Select Committee on Benghazi released a report finding no evidence of wrongdoing by Obama administration officials.
Trump responded to the breach in Iraq with a tweet condemning Iran for encouraging the attack, which came as a response to U.S. airstrikes that killed 25 members of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq.
“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will,” he wrote. “Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!”
Graham echoed Trump, telling the Iranian government to “choose your battles wisely,” writing that “President Trump, unlike President Obama, will hold you accountable for threats against Americans and hit you where it hurts the most.”
The U.S. is expected to send a small number of Marines to the embassy compound, Reuters reported.
Dozens of Iraqi militiamen were heard shouting “Down, Down USA!” and “Death to America” as they threw stones at the U.S. compound. No casualties have been reported so far.