Collins: Obvious that Rice Chose to Emphasize Some Aspects and Downplay Others

Maine Senator to Wolf: 'I don't think the Sec. of State or U.N. ambassador should be...playing essentially the role of the administration's defender'


Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) said in interviews Wednesday evening that Ambassador Susan Rice chose certain pieces of information to emphasize about the attack in Benghazi in her television appearances on Sept. 16.

“It still seems to me that the information she conveyed on those Sunday talk shows is not consistent with some of the reporting to which she had access,” Collins told CNN.

The Senator told Chris Matthews that it “obvious” Rice had emphasized certain information in the reports over other intelligence. Asked by Wolf Blitzer whether she thinks the information that Rice presented on Sept. 16 Sunday shows was politically motivated, Collins said she could not make a judgment.

“I can’t go that far,” Collins said. “But what I will say is I don’t think the Secretary of State or the U.N. ambassador should be involved in going on television, presenting this kind of case with such certitude when, in fact, there’s such ambiguity at that point about what really happened, and playing essentially the role of the administration’s defender.”

Sec. Hillary Clinton declined to appear on Sept. 16 Sunday shows, when her presence was requested first, Rice told Collins Wednesday.

“It’s important that the Secretary of State enjoy credibility around the world with Congress and here in our country as well,” Collins told CNN. “I am concerned that Susan Rice’s credibility may have been damaged by the misinformation that was presented that day.”

Full CNN interview:

Full “Hardball” interview: