Rice Nomination In Trouble?

The presumptive new GOP leader on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said today he was still upset that U.N. ambassador Susan Ricemade statements attributing the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi to a spontaneous reaction to a video on Sept. 16, considering the “real-time” evidence that was available.

At 3:00 p.m. today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to kick off a week that will include several closed hearings on the Benghazi attack. The House Foreign Affairs Committee will follow suit Thursday morning and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hold its own closed hearing with top administration officials Thursday afternoon. Corker, walking into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office this morning, said he was still concerned about Rice’s comments and her defense of them afterward.

“How could we, knowing that our intelligence officials in Libya in real time while the event was taking place were letting our folks know back here that this was a terrorist attack — it’s beyond me that we would be out publicly talking about the event in that way,” Corker said. “It’s beyond belief.”

Rice has explained that her comments were based on the intelligence community assessment at the time, but Corker said that is contradicted by the acknowledgment of senior officials that there was real-time reporting during the attack that clearly identified it as a terrorist attack, with no protest beforehand.

Corker declined to say whether or not Rice would have a hard time making it through the Senate confirmation process if she is nominated to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Rice’s potential nomination could be the first major issue Corker tackles as SFRC ranking Republican next year, and he would have to decide whether to mount a challenge to Obama’s pick.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has repeatedly tied Rice’s Sept. 16 comments to her confirmation prospects.

“Susan Rice would have an incredibly difficult time getting through the Senate. I would not vote for her unless there’s a tremendous opening up of information explaining herself in a way she has not yet done,” Graham said Nov. 11…


Rice to tell the truth?   Wait…for…it…


President Obama forcefully brushed off attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice led by Sen. John McCain, charging Wednesday that the Arizona Republican and Sen. Lindsey Graham are trying to “besmirch” her reputation.

“If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” Obama said during his first post-election news conference.

McCain earlier in the day vowed to do “everything” in his power to block Rice if she is nominated by Obama to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of State.

After Obama’s remarks at the White House, McCain stood firm on his call for a select committee to investigate the Obama administration’s response — including comments by Rice — after an attack at the U.S. Consulate in Libya. Four Americans died, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens.

“I have always said that the buck stops with the president of the United States, particularly for his contradictory statements in the Rose Garden, on 60 Minutes and in later venues alleging that the obvious terrorist attack in Benghazi was triggered by a spontaneous demonstration and a hateful video, or that we didn’t know the cause, ” McCain said.

McCain introduced a Senate resolution to create the select committee on behalf of himself, Graham and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

At issue are Rice’s comments attributing the Sept. 11 violence in Benghazi to a spontaneous uprising that was a response to an anti-Muslim video, and not a terrorist attack.

“Susan Rice should have known better and if she didn’t know better, she’s not qualified,” McCain said on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning. “I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States secretary of State.” …


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