Rep. Schiff Statement Regarding Ambassador Susan Rice

Washington, DC –Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior Member of the Intelligence Committee, released the following statement after leaving an Intelligence Committee hearing:

“I have worked with United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice for several years, and have the greatest confidence in her knowledge, experience, integrity and ability, and I am deeply disturbed by the present attacks on her character.

“On the afternoon of September 15th, the members of the Intelligence Committee were provided with what the intelligence community considered their best initial assessments of what took place in Benghazi when our diplomatic personnel tragically lost their lives.  In an unclassified memorandum, the intelligence community assessed:

The currently available information suggests that the demonstration in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex.  There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.

“The intelligence community also warned that ‘This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed…’

“At today’s hearing of the intelligence committee, CIA Acting Director Morell confirmed that this was their best assessment at the time, and that UN Ambassador Rice would also have been given the intelligence community’s best assessment for her appearances on the Sunday talk shows.  In fact, this unclassified account is almost identical to what Ambassador Rice conveyed only hours later on the morning of September 16th.  Director Morell stated that the fact this was the best assessment and that the UN Ambassador would have likewise been given the best assessment is not classified.

“Those who have suggested that Ambassador Rice was politicizing the intelligence or misrepresenting what the intelligence community was putting forward as its best assessment are either unfamiliar with the facts, or willfully disregarding them.  This is a disservice to a dedicated public servant and I hope these unfounded attacks on Ambassador Rice will come to a rapid end.”