Washington, D.C. — Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican whip, tells National Review Online that Susan Rice was a “puppet” for the Obama White House in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack, and complicit in the administration’s “cover-up.”
“Is she such a puppet that she had no questions about the information she was given?” Kyl asks, in an interview at Newseum, where he is participating in the Foreign Policy Initiative’s annual forum. “What she said was deceptive, misleading, and wrong.”
After American diplomats were killed in Benghazi, Rice was widely criticized for suggesting on several national television shows that the attacks were not premeditated. President Obama has forcefully defended Rice since she made those remarks.
“Somebody in the White House made the decision to send [Rice] out there,” Kyl says. “Someone in the White House is responsible for giving her those talking points. Was it the national-security adviser? Was it the president himself? Did the campaign people tell her what to say? I think it might turn out that campaign people had a hand in this, that they were trying to keep up a narrative that is not true, that al-Qaeda is defeated.”
“I hope House Republicans figure out who they can call to find out, exactly, who made the decision to send her out there,” Kyl says. Since Republicans control the lower chamber, he says, the House is in a position to call White House staffers to Capitol Hill.
Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is widely considered a frontrunner to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once Clinton, as expected, steps down next year. Kyl, Senator John McCain, and other top Republicans remain wary of that prospect.