Representative Jeff Duncan (R-SC) sent a letter to Barack Obama on Monday in which he discouraged him from nominating United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to serve as Secretary of State when current Secretary Hillary Clinton steps down following the January Inauguration. However, Duncan was not alone. At least 97 Members of Congress have also signed their name to the letter.
The letter begins by stating that those sending the letter are “deeply troubled” by Obama’s comments that he is considering appointing Rice as Secretary of State and that is due to the fact that they “believe her misleading statements over the days and weeks following the attack on our embassy in Libya that led to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world.
The letter also cites that Ms. Rice “propagated a falsehood” that the attacks were spawned by a YouTube video.
The letter also said,
Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter. Her actions plausibly give U.S. allies (and rivals) abroad reason to question U.S. commitment and credibility when needed. Thus, we believe that making her the face of U.S. foreign policy in your second term would greatly undermine your desire to improve U.S. relations with the world and continue to build trust with the American people.
Duncan and the other signers also accuse Obama and his administration of denying “Congress access to critical information necessary for effective oversight” concerning the Benghazi attack.
They add that the “discrepancies between the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency’s public timelines of the events on September 11 only exacerbate the problem.”
Just last week Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R_SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) came under attack for their criticisms of Ambassador Rice. They vowed to block her nomination in the Senate.
The letter concludes, “In light of this troubling situation and the continued unanswered questions, we strongly oppose any efforts to nominate Ambassador Susan Rice for the position of Secretary of State.”