U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice Defends Comments on Benghazi Attack
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice is defending her early account of the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi, saying that her statements were made based on initial information from the intelligence community.
Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has been under fire after she appeared on television five days after the Sept. 11 attacks and said in several interviews that the strikes on U.S. outposts were “spontaneous” and were sparked by outrage over an anti-Islamic video.
But three days later, National Counterterrorism Director Matthew Olsen acknowledged the Benghazi attacks were acts of terror and that Al Qaeda might have played a role.
"When discussing the attack against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community," Rice said Wednesday evening to reporters outside the U.N. Security Council.
"I made clear that the information was preliminary, and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers," she added. "As a senior U.S. diplomat, I agreed to a White House request to appear on the Sunday shows to talk about the full range of national security issues of the day, which at that time were primarily and particularly the protests that were enveloping and threatening many diplomatic facilities, American diplomatic facilities around the world, and Iran's nuclear program."
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