Republican lawmakers met with U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice (who is also acting as the CIA Director because of David Patraeus’ wandering…member) today to discuss her statements about the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which left four Americans dead. This discussion was said to leave Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina with more questions than what they started with.
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McCain told reporters, according to the AP, “We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn’t get,” but he also claimed that Rice was “not the problem” in the way the White House handled the attacks in Libya. So now it seems that at least one Republican is behind Rice’s nomination as the next Secretary of State behind Hillary Clinton–who we learned will be stepping down next year.
Since McCain doesn’t think Rice is the problem, who is? McCain says, “The problem is the president of the United States,” who he thinks misled the public on terrorist involvement.
In September, shortly after the attack in Benghazi, Rice said, “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this [attack] was premeditated or preplanned. We’ve decimated al-Qaeda.”
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Although Rice said that the attack “began spontaneously,”many others like Libyan President Mohammed Magariaf expressed the view that the attack was preplanned and that there was an al-Qaeda link. Rice said, “We’ll want to see the results of [an FBI] investigation to draw any definitive conclusions.”
According to the Huffington Post, Rice claims, “Neither I nor anyone else in the [Obama] Administration intended to mislead the American people at any stage in this process, and the Administration updated Congress and the American people as our assessments evolved.”
And it’s obvious that Rice has President Obama’s support. The President backed Rice up by saying, “If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham and others want to go after somebody they should go after me. For them to go after the UN ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi…to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”
Republicans sent President Obama a letter, claiming that Rice’s remarks on Libya were misleading (as if she were attempting a coverup) and she shouldn’t be considered to take over Hillary Clinton’s position. Rice seems to know what she’s doing when it comes to foreign policy, which is a major part of being the Secretary of State, but the Republican men in the House may not want to see her with the title.
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