Over the weekend, Susan Rice asked to meet with Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte so that she could defend, or at least explain, why she provided erroneous information about the deadly Benghazi assault. That meeting happened today.
Not surprisingly, Rice failed to mollify the Senators, at least two of whom would have been hard to mollify even if Rice had a decent defense, which she doesn’t. Lindsey Graham declared, “The concerns I have are greater today than they were before, and we’re not even close to getting the basic answers.” John McCain said, “We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn’t get.” Both indicated that a Rice nomination for Secretary of State might well face tough going.
But thanks for coming.
UPDATE: According to Dana Bush of CNN, sources say that Rice told the Senators that, before going on the Sunday talk shows, she saw classfied documents indicating that al Qaeda may have been involved in the Benghazi attack. The same sources say that Rice told the Senators she regrets her public comments.
It has been clear to us that Rice almost certainly did, in fact, see the classified documents that mentioned al Qaeda. Now that she’s admitted this, the question becomes whether her statements on the five Sunday talk shows were consistent with the information contained in the documents. After all, though Rice can argue that it would have been improper to disclose classified information, she cannot argue that it was improper to make statements that didn’t entirely square with that information.
My guess is that Rice is in an intellectually untenable position.
By the way, I would love to have been a fly on the wall during Rice’s meeting with Graham, McCain, and Ayotte. I’m no fan of Lindsey Graham; quite the opposite. But he excels at cross-examination. If, as I suspect, he went into that mode with Rice (and this may be how he obtained the above-referenced admissions), the three Senators could have charged a steep attendance fee.