Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) on Friday praised President Barack Obama’s intent to nominate State Department veteran Victoria Nuland as the next assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs.
“Ambassador Victoria Nuland has a long and distinguished record of service to our nation in both Republican and Democrat Administrations,” they said in a statement. “She is knowledgeable and well-versed on the major foreign policy issues as well as respected by foreign policy experts in both parties. We look forward to her upcoming confirmation hearings in the United States Senate.”
Nuland is a career Foreign Service officer with 29 years of experience at State, including a stint as principal deputy national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney in 2003. She was most recently in the news for her role in editing the now much-ballyhooed talking points the administration used in the aftermath of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack upon a diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.
In emails released by the White House, Nuland objected to the inclusion and warnings of a terror group thought to be responsible prior to an official investigation because of concerns they could negatively impact her department.
“The penultimate point could be abused by Members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings,” Nuland wrote in one email.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Senate Minority Whip, expressed concern over her nomination on Twitter Thursday:
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) May 24, 2013
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who was involved in delivering the talking points on Sunday shows following the attack but who had no influence in shaping them, was not spared the wrath of McCain and Graham, however.