Rice tries to win over Congress sceptics

2012-11-28 17:44
(Stephen Chernin, AFP)

(Stephen Chernin, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - UN Ambassador Susan Rice continued her fight on Wednesday to win over sceptics in the Senate who could block her chances at becoming the next US secretary of state, while Republican lawmakers said they were even more troubled after face-to-face meetings with her over the handling of the 11 Sept deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Hillary Clinton is soon expected to step down as secretary of state, and Rice is seen as the top candidate for President Barack Obama to nominate for the post.

Rice on Wednesday was meeting with Republican Senators Susan Collins and Bob Corker, who is next in line for the top Republican spot on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Rice on Tuesday met behind closed doors with Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte about her much-criticized initial public explanations about the cause of the September attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Her unusual visit to Capitol Hill - typically, only nominees meet privately with lawmakers - reflects the Obama administration's support for her efforts.

Rice conceded to the senators that her initial account five days after the attack - that a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Muslim video produced in the US triggered it - was wrong, but she insisted she had not been trying to mislead the American people.

"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," Rice said in a statement after the meeting.

"While we certainly wish that we had had perfect information just days after the terrorist attack, as is often the case the intelligence assessment has evolved."

She was joined in the meeting by Acting CIA Director Michael Morell.

Racist and sexist

The senators came out of the meeting indicating they would still try to block Rice's nomination.

"We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get concerning evidence that was leading up to the attack on the consulate," McCain told reporters after a session with Rice that he described as candid.

The White House remained defiant in its support for Rice, arguing that she had no responsibility in compiling the information on the cause of the attack.

"The focus on, some might say, obsession on comments made on Sunday shows seems to me, and to many, to be misplaced," Obama spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters at a White House briefing.

House Democrats have suggested that the Republican opposition to Rice, a black woman, is sexist and racist.

Corker told The Associated Press before his meeting with Rice on Wednesday, "I think most of us hold the secretary of state and secretary of treasury to a whole different level.

"We understand that they're going to support the administration, but we also want to know that they are independent enough, when administration is off-base, that they are putting pressure. I think that's what worries me most about Rice."

Read more on:    susan rice  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of some...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.