Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, joins Starting Point this morning to discuss the upcoming Congressional hearing on Benghazi and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s possible nomination as Secretary of State.
In responding to a question about assertions made by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham that they would not support Rice's nomination, Heck instead places blame on the White House.
“You can't put somebody [Ambassador Rice] out as the face of the issue on all the Sunday morning talk shows and then turn around weeks later and say she knew nothing about the incident, had nothing to do with it,” Heck says.
Soledad O’Brien asks the Congressman if Ambassador Rice’s relation to Benghazi was comparable to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s knowledge of nuclear weapons in Iraq.
“Nobody came out and said that Condoleezza Rice had nothing to do with the situation. Here's the difference, it's that they put forward really a sacrificial lamb in Ambassador Rice, somebody that could go out and make statements and they could claim deniability after the information was proven to be wrong,” the Republican congressman explains.
“So why was [Ambassador Rice] put out as the face of the administration on this issue? We have to get to the bottom of not only the response to the attacks in Benghazi, but also to the ultimate failures of the intelligence community recognized the threat and prepare for the threat to mitigate the attack,” Heck says.
The Republican congressman also adds that the goal of the congressional hearing today is to “get a clear timeline” of the consulate attack in Benghazi, “because there's still a lot of conflict between what the administration and intelligence community saying on how this attack evolved.”