Susan Rice: No regrets on Benghazi involvement
February 23rd, 2014
02:03 PM ET
9 years ago

Susan Rice: No regrets on Benghazi involvement

Washington (CNN) – In her first "Meet the Press" appearance since her use of Benghazi “talking points” set off a political firestorm in 2012, National Security Adviser Susan Rice was asked point-blank whether she has any regrets about her involvement in informing the public of developments regarding the violence before, during and after the attacks on a U.S. post in Libya.

"No," Rice bluntly told David Gregory on the NBC program.

He noted that many believe the controversy over the accuracy of Rice's talking points cost her a chance at becoming secretary of state.

“This information I provided, which I explained to you, which was what we had at the moment, it could change,” Rice said. “I commented this was based on what we knew on that morning was provided to me and my colleagues and Congress, by the intelligence community, and that's been well validated in many ways since.

“That information turned out to be, in some respects, not 100% correct. But the notion that somehow I or anybody else in the administration misled the American people is patently false,“ Rice said.

Republican Sen. John McCain, an outspoken critic of Rice's involvement in the Obama administration’s delivery of information on the attacks, responded on CBS’s “Face the Nation" that he was “almost speechless.”

"It's patently obvious, first of all, that Susan Rice had no reason to be on the program,” he said of the Sunday in 2012 when she appeared on five talk shows.

“She had no involvement in it," he said of actual events on the ground in Benghazi. “Second of all, she read talking points that we're now beginning to believe came from the White House, which were absolutely false.”

At the time of the September 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Rice was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The attacks left four Americans dead, including J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

In the wake of the controversy, Rice withdrew her name from consideration as a possible successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On being President Obama's national security adviser, Rice said that "she couldn't ask for anything more" and that "it's the greatest honor in the world to work for the President of the United States and on behalf of the American people."

Filed under: Libya • Susan Rice
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. mon56

    I watched her today. She did not dodge any questions and her answers made sense to me. Most related to US foreign policy and issues where there should be bipartisan support. Harking back to Benghazi, her answers are supported by the Senate foreign relations committee report. They were critical of the lack of security given the warnings but scotched the scenario that there was an after the event cover-up to aid Obama's reelection. There simply was no there there. Intelligence people got it wrong at first tying the attack the the demonstrations over the video and the head of the CIA ordered that references to Al Qaeda deleted.

    February 23, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. musclecarhound

    The reason the right wingers scream Benhazi all day long is they want you to forget that under their watch, 3000 Americans died in the world trade center in New York City!

    February 23, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. don in albuquerque

    Benghazzzzzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!! Oh God, I feel better already.

    February 23, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. yolanda

    How about taking the time to read up on this woman's history. Check out her praise of the PM of Ethiopia, who just happened to be a brutal leader. Or if that doesn't satisfy your appetite, see where she stood on the Rwandan genocide. I love how some posters on here have no interest in anything other than lambasting the GOP, which is admittedly very easy to do.

    February 23, 2014 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. just me

    She has nothing to apolgize for.

    February 23, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  6. Smitty

    We are now the butt end of jokes due to this admin. What are they going to do ??? Give a speech ??? Draw a red line?? When your pres is awarded BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR, you cannot expect positive results. Blame Bush, fox news whoever, bottom line Obammy is a joke. the Obammy followers are the only ones who don't get it

    February 23, 2014 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. scott

    SHe should be arrested like the criminal that she is, her and Clinton both are responsible for 4 dead U.S. Citizens.

    February 23, 2014 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. ja

    The republicans are making noise about Benghazi, what about the weds,and the wars that.seem to have accomplished nothing, destroyed lives, American and foreign

    February 23, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Susan Rice is to be commended for going out on five Sunday morning talk shows and lying to the American people. Had the American people known it was a well planned and well telegraphed terrorist attack that the incompetent Obama administration didn't take seriously, Obama would not have been re-elected and Hillary Clinton's incompetence and don't give a damn attitude would have been exposed.

    Besides, the lives of those four Americans aren't as important as protecting the political lives of Obama and Hillary Clinton. I'm sure the families of the dead would agree.

    February 23, 2014 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. Getoverit

    When there is no accountability for your actions, it's easy to not have any regrets.

    February 23, 2014 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. physics1200

    The White House is hiding. They knew terrorist were not on the run.

    February 23, 2014 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. Gunderson

    Aw, Humm,
    After many years of observing political atmosphere old Gunderson see much ignorance in land. Many you post here prove it. I keep thinking people get more intelligent but you still get reeled in, Hook, line, and sinker. Why many you need call names to get point across?

    February 23, 2014 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. jcreole

    Why would anybody be surprised that she has no regrets. Obama and the Clintons know it was no accident, and the Republican critics know it was no accident. She lied, at some personal risk, for the greater cause of getting Obama re-elected, and it worked. Now she's anticipating a major pay-off if Hillary wins in 2016, because the Clintons have no aversion to using government grants and posts as rewards for those who lie and stonewall for their benefit, and those who do so effectively are rewarded extravagantly to encourage everybody else to put Obama/Clinton loyalty above professional oaths and responsibilities, and above personal honesty.

    February 23, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. pjoe

    Just a recap:

    Sept 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 = Spontaneous ... Youtube video.

    Libyan officials, including their President, were expressing strong disagreement with the Whitehouse's within a few days of the attack.

    Rice is still in denial.

    February 23, 2014 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  15. S. B. Stein

    Given that not everything was clear then, how was she supposed to be 100% clear and honest about what she didn't know. What we also don't know was what was declassified and available for public consumption. I would also like to know who was the idiot who didn't stop the ambassador from going there. He should have been told that wasn't possible because of the location being unsecured.

    February 23, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. 1984is2014

    Liberals. Your government lies to you. Over and over again. They lie right to your face. You're smart enough to see it but all you want to do is play political games. You've reduced politics to what amounts to a spectator sport. You cheer for your side regardless of the situation. Blame is your bread an butter. This isn't coming from a right winger. I'm a no winger. The two party system is destroying our country. Both sides seem content to argue themselves straight into the grave.

    February 23, 2014 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |

    They should fish ! fishing brings out the best . And the Crappie are biteing . ?? go fish .

    February 24, 2014 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  18. J.V.Hodgson

    Free man in Texas,
    What have you proved nothing!?...... Nothing beyond in my opinion that a riot against the Islamic Koran burning matters/ issues elsewhere escalated into a full bloodied terrorsist attack on a consulate... not an ambassordorial building
    That's not to say both don't need building and individual protections. it was deemed a safe house 20 minutes away with seals and CIA tough guys was enough..... Proved wrong... Ok which genius had that foresight?
    Keep the facts clear we lost three lives at the consulate and one more a the " safe house" where the " defenders' were located.
    Respect the dead who served our country and move on please. No more Issy fits!!

    February 24, 2014 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  19. Dr. Cole

    Wow, just WOW. This lady was used as a pawn by POTUS and his re-election team. She completely lied to our faces and continues to do so. She has NO regrets for saying that the cause of the attack was from a video. The problem becomes that so many people either believe her, don't care or are too clueless to immediately put it together that the attack happened on 9/11. We should all know that AlQueda will do anything that it can to attack us on that day, from now until their termination. If the Director of the NSA, POTUS, Dir of Homeland Security, Sec of State don't understand this, then they need to leave their post. If anyone in these positions is going to deliberately mislead the American People after a terrorist attack only a few weeks before an election, just so they can be re-elected or have their boss re-elected...they too need to leave their post. Mrs. Rice's actions and continued actions disgust me.

    February 24, 2014 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  20. 2_indy1600

    On 9/11, if you don't know every embassy you have in the world may be under attack, you are not doing your job.

    February 24, 2014 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  21. Marie MD

    Why doesn't anyone blame the shrub #43 and the mayor of NYC (we were never attacked under the bush administration fool) for 9/11?
    That was 100% times worse than Benghazi and the car thief from CA has already chewed and chewed it and still can't swallow it because there's nothing there.

    February 24, 2014 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  22. Lizzie

    rs, what's there to lie about, everybody covers for higher ups, and like Mrs.Clinton said "WHO CARES"
    Ms. Rice was told to go on the Sunday shows and state the WH position and the President went to Las Vegas for a fundraiser. What's there to lie about. But maybe it was all President Bush's fault.

    February 24, 2014 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  23. JR

    They knew that it was a terrorist attack within hours. Five days later, Rice is out spewing talking points about a video on all of the Sunday talk shows. Why?

    Because the administration wanted the world to believe that there was no terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11. Why? Because they were out spewing that they had AQ on the run.

    It was all a pant load. No regrets? Of course she has none. Lying to the American people doesn't mean anything anymore.

    February 24, 2014 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
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