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November 15th, 2012
11:32 AM ET

Rep. Heck: Fmr. Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice and Amb. Susan Rice both had wrong information

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.”

Filed under: Libya
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. PaulT

    Soledad, I love you for the fact that you are practicing the journalism that respected when I grew up and has been so sorely lacking over the past decade or more. You stick with the question to get the interviewee to clarify what they are saying, back up with some facts, and move beyond insinuations. Bravo!

    November 16, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Michael

    You are an excellent journalist. I am so impressed with the way you conduct interviews. You don't just let the guest put out false or misleading statements but you try breakdown their statements and get to the truth of the matter. This is so lacking with most of the media that just allows things to pass to the viewer which misinforms and manipulates people for political ends. This whole Benghazi/Rice episode is just another attempt to create a circus of distraction. "“methinks the lady does protest too much”, Republicans need to do the job for the American people and stop all these side shows and obstructionist tactics for the own selfish political ends. Americans are waking up and demand that they work for the people and find solutions to the real problems our nation faces.

    November 16, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Cynthia Guilliams

    Now, that brought tears to my old eyes. An honest to goodness reporter asking a real question of a double talking politician. Maybe Soledad OBrian will lead CNN back to a time when they were a real news channel. I really miss CNN, I used to have them on my TV all day. I do not want news as entertainment. I just want the news. And the facts.

    November 15, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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