Sen. Ayotte: Ambassador Rice 'Misled' Public On Benghazi Attack

Nov 28, 2012

Kelly Ayotte

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice "misled" the American public in the days following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Ayotte, along with Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, has been among the harshest critics of Rice, who is a potential nominee to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ayotte, McCain and Graham met privately with Rice on Tuesday.

Following the meeting, Ayotte told CNN she remained "very concerned" about what led to Rice providing false information about the motivations for the attacks in the days that followed. Ayotte stopped short of saying Rice did so intentionally.

"Certainly she misled the American public,” Ayotte said in an interview Tuesday on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360. "I think that she would say that. She'd have to say that because she began our meeting today admitting that the representations about the video and the protests were wrong, and the impression left [for] the American people was misleading.”

Ayotte told CNN that if Rice is nominated, she would "hold the nomination until we get a full and complete picture of what happened here and some of those questions have been answered today."