The HillTube

Sen. Chambliss: Rice needs to share what ‘White House directed her to say’

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said on Sunday that he expects Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will testify before the Senate about the deadly September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Chambliss, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Fox News Sunday that Clinton has already agreed to testify, and he said he believes the Senate needs to hear from her. 

ADVERTISEMENT
The Georgia lawmaker added that Rice is "going to have to come in and testify at some point, whether it's in a closed hearing or an open hearing." 

"At some point she needs to come in and say what the president or the White House directed her to say," he added.

Also speaking on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said it is "very important" for Clinton to testify, and he called it "irresponsible" of the State Department to not provide better security for its diplomats. 

Rice became embroiled in controversy after she went on Sunday talk shows after the Benghazi attack, which took four American lives, and said that the violence appeared to be a spontaneous protest that was hijacked by extremists. Intelligence agencies later said it was most likely a planned assault by a militant group.


The White House says Rice was only following their talking points based on the best available intelligence at the time, but Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) have accused Rice of misleading the public. 

Rice is rumored to be a top candidate to become Secretary of State when Hillary Clinton steps down. McCain and Graham have said they would block her nomination because of her role in the Benghazi controversy. 

President Obama came to Rice's defense at a press conference earlier this week, calling Republican criticism of her "outrageous" and urging critics to come after him instead.