House GOP: Rice unfit to head State

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of 97 House Republicans sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, saying that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice misled the nation about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, making her unfit to be a candidate to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The letter, organized by South Carolina freshman Jeff Duncan, said Rice’s “misleading statements” about the attack that led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans “caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world.”

It was the latest GOP effort to single out Rice for the mixed signals sent out by the administration in the immediate aftermath of the September attack in Benghazi.

Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have led criticism in the Senate, saying Rice is unqualified and untrustworthy and promising to block her nomination if Obama picks her to take over the State Department after Clinton steps down.

Rice became a target when she went on the Sunday talk shows five days after the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission on Sept. 11 and said that, from the best information she had at the time, the attack was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video and not a premeditated attack. That assessment later proved to be incorrect.

Rice, the House Republicans said in their letter, “is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter.”

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