WASHINGTON -- After a handful of Republicans suggested on TV and social media that the apprehension of alleged Benghazi, Libya, attacker Ahmed Abu Khatalla was less than impressive, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used his weekly news conference to hammer the GOP response as "pathetic" and "disgusting."
"The reaction from some of the Republicans, I've been told, is to downplay and insult the brave men and women of our special forces and the FBI," the Nevada Democrat said. "They're trying to say, 'Well, that's no big deal.' I wonder if the men and women who capture the terrorists agree with the Republicans that it's no big deal. Even in these days of polarization ... their reaction is shocking and disgusting."
Reid appeared to be referring mostly to early tweets and web posts reacting to the arrest of Khatallah, who had been found and interviewed by reporters well before his apprehension.
Among them, former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) wrote: "Squirrel! Benghazi suspect conveniently captured to deflect attention from all the other nightmares."
CNN's Jim Sciutto tweeted:
Rep. Royce calls arrest of #Benghazi suspect "overdue, considering he's made himself available to multiple media outlets in last 19 mos"
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) June 17, 2014
Others reacted similarly. Reid said they responded that way purely because they don't like President Barack Obama.
"They're so obsessed with criticism, criticizing anything that President Obama does, they'll go so far as to sit here and insult the men and women in uniform and in law enforcement ... They're insulting these good men and women who did some courageous things, heroic things, in order to criticize President Obama," Reid said.
"I think they've lost touch with reality," he said. "It's really pathetic. There's no other word for it."