- Country singer Tim McGraw not sorry for slapping female fan: ‘Things happen’
- Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks
- White House takes credit for drop in unaccompanied children at border
- International crises be damned, Obama’s fundraising trip must go on
- Friend of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found guilty of impeding probe
- Train with MH17 plane crash bodies leaves rebel town in Ukraine
- Half of Colorado voters are OK with Hobby Lobby decision, poll shows
- HIV-killing condom to soon hit shelves in Australia
- Estonia pulls plug on Steven Seagal over praise for Putin
- Lawyer: Pelvic exam pics cost Hopkins $190 million
Obama ‘proud’ of Rice, GOP still skeptical
Ambassador has uphill battle
Question of the Day
Mr. McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been one of the most vocal critics of Mrs. Rice and her Sept. 16 appearances on five Sunday TV talk shows in which she said protesters, not terrorists, had attacked the State Department’s Benghazi compound. His meeting with her Tuesday did not sway his opinion.
“I am significantly troubled by many of the answers we got, and some we didn’t get,” he said Tuesday.
Mrs. Rice said in a statement issued Tuesday by the State Department that she had “explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: there was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi” against the video.
“As is often the case, the intelligence assessment has evolved. We stressed that neither I nor anyone else in the Administration intended to mislead the American people at any stage in this process,” she said.
Republicans have accused administration officials of trying to downplay the attack to preserve the Obama re-election campaign’s message of the administration having decimated al Qaeda – and the so-called talking points figure largely in their criticisms.
The administration’s account of what happened in Benghazi has changed several times, which officials attributed to changes to the talking points prepared by the U.S. intelligence community.
But officials representing all the intelligence agencies that collaborated to produce the unclassified talking points each denied that their agency had made the change, leading Republicans to conclude the edit had been made by the White House.
Last week, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told reporters that officials in that office had made the change, but did not explain why.
The office declined to comment to The Washington Times but said the spokesman’s comments had been reported accurately.
Mrs. Rice’s participation in the administration’s differing accounts has soured her possible nomination to the head the State Department, a position for which Sen. John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also is being mentioned.
Mrs. Collins, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said Wednesday that she “would have to have more information” before deciding her stance on a potential replacement for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has said she wants to leave politics.
Benghazi, Kenya and Tanzania
“At the time that Ambassador Rice made these assertions, there was conflicting evidence, it’s true, but we had the president of Libya saying that 50 people had been arrested, that people, terrorists from other countries had come to Libya and that the attack was premeditated and planned,” the Maine Republican said. “I asked Ambassador Rice why she did not qualify her comments more in light of this contradictory reporting from the president of the country. Her answer was that she relied on our intelligence analysis. I don’t understand why she would not have at least qualified her response to that question.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Aide involved in Benghazi talking points scrubbing promoted by Obama
Latest Blog Entries
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.
Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...
- U.S. scrambles as violence escalates in Israel-Hamas conflict
- MH17: Fear of ground-to-air missile strike becomes nightmare reality in Ukraine
- U.S., China to participate in unprecedented joint ground force exercise
- Bergdahl returned to active duty
- Israel rejects talk of cease-fire; Hamas targets suspected nuke site
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- Edward Snowden to work with Russia on anti-spy technology
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- More immigrants deported from New Mexico center
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- Ron Paul: U.S. partly to blame for Malaysia Airlines disaster
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- Pro-Russia rebel commander suggests passengers died days before Malaysian flight
- Vladimir Putin pressured to aid Ukraine plane crash probe, rein in rebels
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq