Senators, White House official visit Guantanamo

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., flanked by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., right, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill following President Barack Obama's speech on Afghanistan, terrorism, and the Guantanamo Bay prison, in Washington, Thursday, May 23, 2013. The GOP lawmakers opposed the president's decision to lift his ban on the transfer of Yemeni prisoners from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and two leading senators on national security are traveling to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Congressional aides to Sens. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence committee, and John McCain, a member of the Armed Services panel, said the lawmakers joined McDonough on the trip.

The visit on Friday comes as President Barack Obama has renewed his 2008 campaign promise to close the naval facility that houses 166 terror suspects. White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said McDonough wants to review the situation at the prison and discuss how to work with Congress to meet the president’s goal of closure.

Obama has faced strong resistance in Congress from Republicans and some Democrats who don’t want the terror suspects transferred to the United States or foreign countries. Congress has repeatedly voted to keep the facility open.

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