Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office issued a statement on Tuesday night defending U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice from GOP criticism for the explanations she gave on behalf of the Obama administration in the immediate aftermath of the attacks upon a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya earlier this year.
“The personal attacks against Ambassador Rice by certain Republican senators have been outrageous and utterly unmoored from facts and reality," Reid said. "I am shocked that senators would continue these attacks even when the evidence – including disclosures from the intelligence community about the information she presented – have made it clear that the allegations against Ambassador Rice are baseless, and that she has done absolutely nothing wrong."
Rice sat down with Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) earlier on Tuesday in an effort to assuage their concerns. Emerging after the meeting, the senators proclaimed that their reservations had become even "more troubling" after listening to Rice. McCain later took to Fox News to say that he would be "very hard-pressed" to support Rice as a potential replacement for Hillary Clinton at the State Department.
More from Reid's statement:
“Ambassador Rice’s service as United States Ambassador to the United Nations has been impeccable. She has answered all questions raised in relation to the Benghazi attacks completely and repeatedly. The Senate committees of jurisdiction are in the midst of examining the events leading up to the Benghazi attacks, and I agree with those – including the ranking Republican members of both the Intelligence and Homeland Security committees – who have said we should let the committees do their work. There should be no place for such blatant partisanship in oversight of our nation’s intelligence community.
“The election is over. It is time to drop these partisan political games, and focus our attention on the real challenges facing us as a nation.”