WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of 97 House Republicans sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, saying that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice misled the nation about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, making her unfit to be a candidate to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The letter, organized by South Carolina freshman Jeff Duncan, said Rice's "misleading statements" about the attack that led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans "caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world."
It was the latest GOP effort to single out Rice for the mixed signals sent out by the administration in the immediate aftermath of the September attack in Benghazi.
Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have led criticism in the Senate, saying Rice is unqualified and untrustworthy and promising to block her nomination if Obama picks her to take over the State Department after Clinton steps down.
Obama responded last week at a news conference, saying McCain and Graham should "go after me" if they want to criticize administration actions. He said Rice had nothing to do with the Benghazi affair and "to besmirch her reputation is outrageous."
On Friday a dozen Democratic female members of the House also came to Rice's defense, saying the criticisms of her smacked of sexism and racism.
Rice became a target when she went on the Sunday talk shows five days after the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission on Sept. 11 and said that, from the best information she had at the time, the attack was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video and not a premeditated attack. That assessment later proved to be incorrect.
Rice, the House Republicans said in their letter, "is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter." As a result, they said, "we believe that making her the face of U.S. foreign policy in your second term would greatly undermine your desire to improve U.S. relations with the world and continue to build trust with the American people."
Clinton has not formally announced when she is leaving her post and Obama has not said who might succeed her, although Rice has often been named as a leading candidate. Senior-level positions must be confirmed by the Senate.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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