- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
- CIA chief Brennan ‘determined’ to speak out more this year
- Reset? What reset? U.S.-Russia ties at worst since Cold War
- 9/11 terror recruiter released in Syrian prisoner swap
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
- Elephants can tell difference between human languages: study
Aide involved in Benghazi talking points scrubbing promoted by Obama
In a bold move that demonstrates his commitment to an inner circle of close advisers — even those caught up in controversies, President Obama plans to nominate Victoria Nuland to assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, the White House said Thursday.
Ms. Nuland is the State Department spokeswoman who, emails revealed last week, expressed deep concerns about the implications of early versions of the "talking points" being prepared for the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. at one point asking that references to al Qaeda and previous CIA warnings about threats in Libya be deleted from the document. She said members of Congress might use them to criticize the State Department for not providing beefed-up security at Benghazi, where U.S. Amb. J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
She also memorably argued that her "building leadership" still had issues with the talking points even after some changes, a reference some Republicans believe could implicate then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or other senior leaders.
U.S. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used the heavily redacted talking points on Sunday morning news shows following the attack in an attempt to blame the events in Benghazi and the deaths of the four Americans on an anti-Islamic video made in the U.S.
Republicans argue the explanation was an attempt to play down the role of terrorists in the attacks because that might damage President Obama's national security credentials and his claims that al Qaeda had been decimated with the presidential election less than two months away.
The nomination of Ms. Nuland, a career Foreign Service officer with previous European experience, requires Senate confirmation, giving conservative critics in Congress the opportunity to press her for more details about her role in the Benghazi talking points.
Democrats will undoubtedly point to other parts of Ms. Nuland's resume as proof she wasn't politically motivated. From 2003 to 2005, she served as principal deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Republicans Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have led the charge in questioning the Obama administration over its handling of Benghazi, made an effort Friday to extol Ms. Nuland's foreign-service credentials, noting that she is respected on both sides of the aisle.
"Ambassador Victoria Nuland has a long and distinguished record of service to our nation in both Republican and Democrat administrations," they said in a statement. "She is knowledgeable and well-versed on the major foreign policy issues as well as respected by foreign policy experts in both parties. We look forward to her upcoming confirmation hearings in the United States Senate."
© 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'
- Amid his own challenges, Obama calls on Navy grads to hold themselves accountable
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Redskins bypass big splash - for now - as free agency period begins
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again