Report: Petraeus says CIA approved Ambassador Rice’s initial statements on Benghazi attack
Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have been leading a political lynching party against Susan Rice (above), the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, aren’t going to like THIS:
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has admitted that the CIA and intelligence community approved U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice’s talking points before she made her much-derided Sept. 16 appearance on several Sunday news shows to discuss the attacks in Benghazi. King, one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration’s response to the attack, came to his conclusion following testimony from former CIA Director David Petraeus.
After leaving the closed-door hearing, King spoke with reporters for several minutes about Petraeus’ statements. Rice’s television appearances were among the topics discussed, leading King to indicate that while Petraeus did not personally write Rice’s talking points, the CIA did approve them…
Rice has been hit by Republicans for weeks for indicating that the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi stemmed from a spontaneous protest related to an anti-Islamic video. However, as Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) has pointed, the talking points used by Rice were the same unclassified points given to both the administration and Congress by the intelligence community.
Contrary to the current GOP narrative, Petraeus’ testimony maded clear that various intelligence sources at of the time of his initial briefing to Congress indicated that a protest arising in response to a similar one in Cairo was the impetus for the attack in Libya. While those initial assessments were later disproved, the Wall Street Journal has previously reported that this change in thinking began too late to alter Rice’s talking points.