U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said Tuesday she incorrectly claimed the September terrorist attack in Benghazi was the result of a protest over an anti-Islam video because of faulty intelligence.

In a statement released shortly after a meeting with three Republican senators who have criticized her comments, Rice said she did not mean to mislead the public with her initial comments on cable television about the attack. 

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"In the course of the meeting, we explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: there was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi," Rice said. "While we certainly wish that we had had perfect information just days after the terrorist attack, as is often the case, the intelligence assessment has evolved."

Rice is considered a front-runner to succeed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge HW Bush wears 'book socks' to Barbara Bush's funeral to honor her passion for literacy Obamas, Clintons to attend funeral of Barbara Bush Hillary Clinton to fundraise in DC for public charter high school MORE as secretary of State, but the controversy over her comments has raised doubts about whether she would win Senate confirmation.

Rice and Acting CIA Director Michael Morell met for more than an hour Tuesday with Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP sold Americans a bill of goods with tax reform law Republicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller Rand Paul under pressure as Pompeo hunts for votes MORE (R-S.C.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteAudit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars US sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years No, the US did not spend million on a gas station in Afghanistan MORE (R-N.H.) in an attempt to explain her comments, which initially linked the violence to other protests in the region.

On Tuesday, Rice stressed that "neither I nor anyone else in the administration intended to mislead the American people at any stage in this process, and the administration updated Congress and the American people as our assessments evolved."

Republicans have suggested that the White House was reluctant to acknowledge the incident was a planned terrorist attack because it could have hurt President Obama ahead of the election. Some Republicans, including McCain and Graham, have suggested that they would block any move by Obama to appoint Rice to Clinton's successor.

While Rice said she "appreciated" the opportunity to speak with the lawmakers and said issues were addressed "directly and constructively," in a press conference shortly after the meeting, the Republican senators said they were not convinced by her explanation.

“Bottom line, I'm more disturbed now than I was before [by] the 16 September explanation about how four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya, by Ambassador Rice,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Ayotte echoed Graham, saying she was “more troubled today having met with the acting director of the CIA and Ambassador Rice.

“When you're in a position where you're ambassador to the United Nations, you go well beyond unclassified talking points in your daily preparation and responsibilities for that job. And that's troubling to me as well, why she wouldn't have asked” more questions, she said.

Rice pledged in her statement that the Obama administration remained "committed to working closely with Congress as we thoroughly investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi."

Earlier this month, Obama told reporters it was unfair to criticize Rice for having repeated talking points provided from the intelligence community, and stressed he was ready to fight for her nomination. Rice is a close Obama ally who served as his senior foreign policy adviser in the 2008 campaign.

Julian Pecquet contributed.