Nearly 100 House members have told President Obama they would oppose his nomination of Ambassador Susan Rice as the next secretary of State, saying her “misleading statements” following the fatal attacks on U.S. outposts in Libya have caused “irreparable damage to her credibility.”
The 97 House Republicans informed the president in one-page letter Monday.
Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in TV interviews five days after the fatal Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that the strikes were “spontaneous” and sparked by outrage over an anti-Islamic video.
Three days later, National Counterterrorism Director Matthew Olsen acknowledged the attacks were acts of terror and that Al Qaeda might have played a role.
“Ambassador Rice is widely viewed to have either willfully or incompetently misled the American public on the Benghazi matter,” says the letter to Obama, signed by such House Republican members a Jeff Duncan, South Carolina, and Louie Gohmert, Texas.
“We believe that making her the face of the U.S. foreign policy … would greatly undermine your desire to improve U.S. relations with the world,” the letter continues.
Democrats have repeatedly defended Rice, saying she was merely using talking points gleamed from unclassified CIA reports on the attacks – in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American were killed.
President Obama has been Rice’s most ardent defender, calling attacks on her “outrageous” and urging Republican leaders to “go after me,” not her.