Following on their meeting with UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) released a statement bashing her performance and stating that President Obama had serious questions to answer about Rice’s statements in the aftermath of the Benghazi terrorist attacks that resulted in the deaths of four Americans.
The text of the statement:
We respectfully disagree with the White House’s statement today that ‘there are no unanswered questions’ about Ambassador Rice’s September 16 Sunday show appearances and the talking points she used.
Around 10:00 this morning in a meeting requested by Ambassador Rice, accompanied by acting CIA Director Mike Morell, we asked Mr. Morell who changed the unclassified talking points to remove references to al-Qaeda. In response, Mr. Morell said the FBI removed the references and did so to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation. We were surprised by this revelation and the reasoning behind it.
However, at approximately 4:00 this afternoon, CIA officials contacted us and indicated that Acting Director Morell misspoke in our earlier meeting. The CIA now says that it deleted the al-Qaeda references, not the FBI. They were unable to give a reason as to why.
We are disturbed by the Administration’s continued inability to answer even the most basic questions about the Benghazi attack and the Administration’s response.
Beyond Ambassador Rice’s misstatements, we continue to have questions about what happened in Benghazi before, during, and after the attack on our consulate – as well as the President’s statements regarding the attack.
Perhaps most important, we also need to understand why the U.S. military was unable to respond within seven hours to save American lives in Benghazi and why our consulate was left so unsecure despite a series of previous attacks.
In more than a dozen letters, we and other Senators have repeatedly requested that the Administration provide answers to our questions. Yet, today most of them remain unanswered. We eagerly await their response.
The controversy surrounding Rice is far from over. And these three Senators – yes, three, media, including a female Senator – will not stop until their questions are answered.