Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been leading a smear campaign in an attempt to discredit U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice after reports emerged that President Obama is considering nominating her as the next Secretary of State. McCain and his allies, who include namely Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), have charged that Rice’s Sept. 16 presentation of what the Obama administration knew at the time about the terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya, which has since turned out to be inaccurate, disqualifies her to be the nation’s top diplomat.
But facts have emerged that show not only that Rice was simply relaying the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment and but also that, contrary to these Republicans’ claims, Rice’s presentation was in no way a political effort to downplay al-Qaeda’s involvement in the Benghazi attacks.
Now that their campaign has been fully discredited, McCain, Graham and Ayotte are notably silent about Susan Rice and Benghazi. Graham appeared on Fox News Dec. 3 and neither he, nor host Greta Van Susteren, mentioned Benghazi or Rice. And McCain was on the same program last night — Susan Rice never came up during the interview, and McCain only mentioned Benghazi or Libya in the context of whether the U.S. should intervene militarily in Syria.
With this lull in the anti-Susan Rice campaign, ThinkProgress has updated its timeline of the entire Benghazi affair, which documents the immediate aftermath and the Romney campaign’s politicization of the events all the way through to today. Read the updated timeline here.