US Ambassador Meeting With Lawmakers on Benghazi Attack

Posted November 27th, 2012 at 11:35 am (UTC-5)
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The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is meeting this week with lawmakers to discuss her remarks about the deadly September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The closed-door meetings are seen as a bid by Rice to gain the lawmakers' support in order to become the next Secretary of State.

U.S. media report Rice is holding talks with Republican Senators John McCain , Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte .

Those three lawmakers have strongly criticized her explanation of the attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Five days after the assault, Rice said on American television programs that initial intelligence assessments pointed to a spontaneous demonstration that attracted heavily armed militants. She said the demonstration that precipitated the attack was provoked by an anti-Islam video made in the United States.

She said it was her “best assessment” the strike was not pre-planned. Later, intelligence officials told Congress the Obama administration had known several days before her statement it was a terrorist assault.

Rice has defended her comments. She said she relied on preliminary information provided to her by intelligence experts.

Susan Rice is thought to be a candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state during President Barack Obama's second term. If nominated, she would have to be confirmed by the Senate to assume the post.