WH Press Sec. Jay Carney defends Amb. Susan Rice at briefing

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Jay Carney staunchly defended Amb Rice again today suggesting the targeting of her Sunday show appearances could just has easily been aimed at his comments from the podium; that the “much-vaunted” Sunday shows have nothing to do with what happened in Benghazi. He said there are “no unanswered questions” remaining about her appearance and the talking points she used. The questions that remain to be answered are about what actually happened in Benghazi, he said. More below…

 

See rough notes from FNC’s Joy Lin -

 

Q Rice meetings on Hill — leading critics come out afterwards say even more disturbed what’s ur reaction

 

A 13:01:43 Amb Rice has put out statement I would refer you to that– 13:01:53 there are no unanswered questions about amb rice’s appearance on sunday shows and talking points provided by intelligence community — those questions have been answered, the questions that remain to be answered, which president insists answered, have to do with what happened in benghazi, who was responsible, and what steps we need to take to ensure something like that doesn’t happen again, these are distinct issues 13:02:39 as president made clear, amb rice no responsibility collecting intelligence..or diplomatic security around the globe 13:02:55 the focus on, some might say obsession on comments made on sunday shows, seems to me and many to be misplaced

 

13:03:12 refer u to amb rice statement on mtgs with sens mccain, graham, ayotte with acting CIA director morrell to go over questions senators had and very clear facts about what information she was using, where it came from 13:03:39 fact all of us who had to answer questions about benghazi, provided with same information, based on best assessments at time, included caveats those assessments would evolve as more information collected 13:04:02 we need to focus on bringing to justice those four Americans, making sure embassy, diplomatic secure, make sure doesn’t happen again

 

 

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Q Can you give sense of timeline of what president looking t for choosing successor to Sec Clinton. Will she stay thru inauguration

13:06:39 i dont’ have any information for you on timelines, shortlists, nominees potential or otherwise — 13:06:48 sec clinton i think has addressed her plans as far as how long she’ll stay, i’ll refer u to her comments 13:07:02 fact of the matter is amb rice enormously qualified for position she holds, variety of positions in fp field if president were to decide to nominate her for a position — i’m simply quoting president

 

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Q back and forth on hypothetical nomination

13:13:04 president i think addressed this quite well

Q spoke about her good work

13:13:14 i think he spoke clearly about the prospect of proposing her for a diff position if he so desires

Q whole theater

13:13:28 I think he believes as he said the focus on Amb rice comments on some sunday shows — i know sunday shows vaunted status in washington — zero to do with what happened in Benghazi — certainly amb rice as i made clear moments before has no responsibility of providing intelligence, that is intelligence community’s responsibility, amb has no responsibility for diplomatic security around the world — she is a principle on the president’ fp team — it’s convenient I think for people — i won’t say that — convenient to forget context amb rice appeared on sunday shows — threats around the globe — entirely appropriate for amb rice to appear on air, take q’s about president’s approach to and policy towards the unrest that was occurring largely as result of video

 

Q more appropriate for sec clinton?

13:15:14 can i just say — what is the point of the focus on this — it could have been me, amb rice — i took questions on this too 13:15:26 we all relied on information from intelligence community — made clear based on initial intelligence, with caveats 13:15:44 focus on sunday shows misplaced, less about what happened in benghazi than about dynamics in washington

 

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Q (rosen) Amb Rice statement: in course of meeting –  incorrect — there was no protext or demonstration in benghazi — reaction to this protest that never occurred — staple of president obama’s pronouncements all the way until Sept 25 — at UN why?

A 13:16:48 why? i appreciate the question, i would make the point as amb rice makes clear in this statements — those initial assessments wrong in one key respect — no protests outside facility — to this day, assessment of intelligence community, ur colleagues in press who interviewed ppl on ground– that they acted at least in part response to what they saw happening in Cairo and took advantage — saw what happened in Cairo..

13:18:03 Your question suggests it’s more imp i or others use talking points than what happened in benghazi

 

Q not supposition of my question

13:18:20 tis’ supposition for many ppl who focus about this for political reasons when focus should be what happened…13:18:44 nothing on sundays shows relates

 

Q I’m sure u would agree ask questions about talk elected officials and aides, thats why — dont have to impune motives of questioners…..Presence of acting CIA director in mtgs — whose idea

13:19:35 I’m not sure who was behind it…..

13:19:50…because talking points she relied on others relied on, i think entirely appropriate acting CIA director at these meetings — repeatedly said WH provided talking points…categorically refuted and yet said on the air — more evidence of the point — more interested in talking points of sunday shows than what happened in benghazi, prevent something like that from happening again

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