Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith, made the following statement in response to attacks on Ambassador Rice’s comments following the attack on Benghazi:
“I agree with the President’s comments about Ambassador Rice today. Republican attempts to blame Ambassador Rice for the horrible attack in Benghazi are ridiculous. The attack was a tragedy, and it cost four brave Americans their lives. Certainly, we should determine how to prevent attacks like this in the future, but blaming Ambassador Rice, who had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack, is a blatant attempt to score political points.
“In some cases, Republicans are blatantly misstating what Ambassador Rice said about the Benghazi attacks. She made it clear that it was an armed assault by an organized militia. She never claimed it was just protesters who turned violent. The attacks on Rice are misguided and, at best, misinformed.
“Rice has been an outstanding Ambassador to the U.N. on countless issues. From leading efforts to secure the toughest sanctions against Iran and North Korea to date, to building international support to end Muahamar Qadafi's brutal reign in Libya and strongly condemning Russia's unwillingness to denounce Assad's regime in Syria, she has been an outstanding diplomat and a forceful advocate for our interests abroad. It is my hope that she continues to serve our nation.
“The election is over. Now is the time to put aside partisan politics and focus on making decisions to ensure our national security.”