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GOP senators demand explanation for Benghazi talking points
Three leading Republican senators are calling on the Obama administration to identify who briefed former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in advance of her Sunday show appearances where she blamed a video for the Benghazi attack.
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and John McCain, R-Ariz., wrote to leaders on the House and Senate Foreign Relations committees asking them to compel the administration to explain the “taking points.”
In the letter first obtained by Fox News, the senators cite the recent testimony of former CIA acting and deputy director Michael Morell before the House Intelligence Committee, where he said it was Rice, not the CIA, who connected the obscure Internet video to the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack.
“How could former Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, during the five Sunday talk shows on Sept. 16, 2012, claim that the attacks on our compounds were caused by a hateful video when Mr. Morell testified that the CIA never mentioned the video as a casual factor and made no reference to the video in any of the multiple versions of the talking points?” the senators wrote.
Given the CIA was not the source of the video explanation, according to Morell, lawmakers want to know whether State Department or White House personnel were involved in the Rice briefings in advance of the 2012 talk shows.
Rice is now the president’s national security adviser. Some lawmakers believe it would be difficult for Rice to now assert executive privilege because her previous job as U.N. ambassador required Senate confirmation.
In the letter, the lawmakers also questioned Rice’s statements about security at the Benghazi compound that were “clearly misrepresentations of the facts.”
“Ambassador Rice also falsely asserted that Al Qaeda was decimated. Who briefed her about Al Qaeda’s activities in Libya?” the lawmakers wrote.
“If we are to avoid future terrorist attacks like the one in Benghazi, we must answer these and many other unanswered questions,” the senators added.
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