McCain, Graham Soften On Susan Rice Attacks

Source: Lindsey Boerma / CBS News

Two top Senate Republicans – who last week vowed to do everything in their power to block the potential nomination of Susan Rice as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s successor – are dialing back their language on the ambassador’s role in the muddied aftermath of the September 11 attacks in Libya, which killed four Americans.

“Sure,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said on “Fox News Sunday” when asked if he might change his mind about Rice, the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who reportedly is at the top of the short list for Clinton’s post. “I’d give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took. I’d be glad to have the opportunity to discuss these issues with her.”

Five days after what would come to be deemed an attack by extremists with “linkages” to al Qaeda, Rice appeared on “Face the Nation” and insisted the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was “spontaneous,” prompted by an inflammatory anti-Muslim video that had led to protests in Egypt and elsewhere.

Rice, and her allies in the Obama administration and in Congress, argue she was merely repeating talking points given to her by the CIA and approved by the wider intelligence community, but on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” last week, McCain called on Rice to “publicly [come] back on this show and [say] ‘I was wrong – I gave the wrong information.'”

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