Ambassador Susan Rice To Meet With Sen. McCain On Benghazi

Source: Brian Montopoli / CBS News

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice will meet with senators on Capitol Hill Tuesday to answer questions about the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya. CBS News has learned her appearance will include a morning meeting with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has been among her biggest critics since her initial remarks on the attack.

Rice has come under fire from Republicans for her initial account of the attack five days after it took place, when she suggested that there was no evidence the incident was an act of terrorism. On CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” in one example, she said the “assessment at present” was that “based on the best information we have to date…it began spontaneously in Benhgazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where of course as you know there was a violent protest outside our embassy sparked by this hateful video.” She added that “extremist elements” then joined the effort.

In recent days, top Republicans have seemed to soften their criticism. McCain said on “Fox News Sunday” that he could change his mind about blocking her potential nomination, saying he would “give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took.” He added that Rice is “not the problem.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. – who last week called Rice “so disconnected to reality I don’t trust her” – said Sunday he places the blame for the account on “the president above all others” and declined to say outright he would oppose Rice’s nomination to become Secretary of State.

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