IT’S REALLY difficult not to reply with serious snark on hearing Senator Graham’s response to his meeting with U.N. Ambassador Rice, along with C.I.A. Acting Director Mike Morell. But he got the sound bite of the day from the meeting, which I have little doubt was pre-planned.
“The bottom line is that I’m more disturbed than I was before … about how four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya by Amb. Rice does not to do justice to the reality at the time,” Graham told reporters after meeting with Rice. [USA Today]
What was meant as offense by Obama and Rice in requesting a meeting with McCain now appears to have rendered the Administration fallen prey to the sinister ploy of the Senator, a man who had no intention of ever giving Rice the benefit of the doubt. Preening on TV that he would be open minded and talk with her, the whole thing was simply show in order to resurrect his own reputation after he overplayed his hand. McCain now can portray the magnanimous man for meeting with her, even if his intentions were always self-serving and trained on taking her down for spite.
The national media will do the rest.
NBC News, along with Fox News Channel, which caught the Graham live when he came out of the meeting, also report that GOP senators were anything but satisfied with Rice’s explanation of Benghazi aftermath, which led to her Sunday show appearances and the resulting furor.
Republican senators emerged from their meeting Tuesday with United Nations envoy Susan Rice saying they were more disturbed than before the meeting about the misleading explanation she gave after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, when Rice said in TV interviews that the violence was due to an anti-Islamic video that was circulated on YouTube.
Susan Rice is trending on Twitter and there’s nothing good being said.
As I’ve written before, the aftermath of the Benghazi attack was handled badly by the Obama administration, with Ambassador Rice taking one for the President in her Sunday show appearances.
Now, after a meeting she requested and came prepared for with the CIA’s Acting Director Mike Morell, Ambassador Rice may be more embattled than she was before.
“The American people got bad information on Sept. 16, bad information from the president after that, and the question is, should they have been given any information at all?” Graham said. [Buzzfeed]
Senator Graham did note that he’s got new questions for the intelligence community, which came during his brief presser after meeting with Rice, which means Morell may not have done Rice much good. But as I’ve been writing since the start of this fiasco, that’s mainly because the security, and the consulate itself, which was always intended to be a place when Amb. Chris Stevens could get closer to the Libyan people, was a risky proposition to begin with, as is all diplomatic missions in countries that are teetering on chaos, as Libya has been since Gadhafi’s fall.
President Obama still has the votes in the Senate to confirm Rice as secretary of state, should he send her nomination to the Senate, but it looks like he’s got another headache today over the nomination that he didn’t need.