National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that she has no regrets over comments she made in a round of Sunday-show appearances in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Rice, who was then the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on multiple Sunday talk shows then that the attack was “spontaneous,” not planned, and caused in part by an anti-Muslim video that was circulating in the Middle East.
In the year and a half since the attacks, the Obama administration has said that the attack was pre-planned, and a Senate Intelligence Committee report found that it was likely preventable. A New York Times investigation in late December found, however, that the video likely played at least some part.
“Meet the Press” host David Gregory asked Rice on Sunday if she had any “regrets” about her 2012 comments.
Rice said Sunday that those comments — versions of which she made on NBC, Fox, ABC, CNN and CBS — were based on the best information the Obama administration had at the time and were not made to mislead the American people.
“What I said to you that morning, and what I did every day since, was to share the best information that we had at the time,” Rice said. “The information I provided, which I explained to you, was what we had at the moment. It could change. I commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning, was provided to me and my colleagues, and indeed, to Congress, by the intelligence community. And that’s been well validated in many different ways since.”
“And that information turned out, in some respects, not to be 100% correct. But the notion that somehow I or anybody else in the administration misled the American people is patently false. And I think that that’s been amply demonstrated.”
Appearing on CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was one of Rice’s loudest critics after her 2012 comments, said that he was “almost speechless” about her “Meet the Press” appearance.
“The information was totally misleading — totally false,” McCain said. “For Susan Rice to say such a thing is a little embarrassing, to tell you the truth.”
Here’s the clip of Rice’s appearance:
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