Ambassador Susan Rice meets with lawmakers on Libya

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Washington (CNN) -- After facing criticism from Republican lawmakers surrounding her characterization of the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice will hold meetings on Capitol Hill about Libya, an administration official said Monday.

Rice will meet with Sen. John McCain on Tuesday morning, a Senate source said.

Acting CIA director Mike Morrell will attend meetings later this week, a source said.

McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, two top Republicans, led the criticism of Rice after her television appearances days after the September attack, which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. They and other Republicans said they would block the nomination of Rice, should she be advanced by President Barack Obama to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has said she will leave her post when a replacement is ready to be installed.

This weekend, McCain expressed more openness to her potentially filling that post, saying he would "give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took. I'd be glad to have the opportunity to discuss these issues with her."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/25/mccain-says-hes-open-to-changing-his-mind-on-susan-rice/

Rice has not been offered the position but is suspected to top the list of possible successors. At a press conference after his re-election, Obama called McCain and Graham's criticism of Rice "outrageous," adding that if they "and others want to go after someone they should go after me."

The ambassador said she was using de-classified talking points that did not reference the attack as a pre-meditated terror attack, and the spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence later said those talking points were prepared by the intelligence community, and not modified by other governmental agencies.

"When discussing the attacks on our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community. I made clear that the information was preliminary," Rice told reporters last Wednesday.

McCain charged on the floor of the U.S. Senate hours before Obama's post-election press conference that "this president and this administration has either been guilty of colossal incompetence or engaged in a cover up, neither of which are acceptable to the American people."

Republicans have questioned why the administration used Rice as their spokeswoman, rather than an official more closely involved with the investigation, as well as why the U.S. timeline included a protest surrounding a controversial anti-Islam web video, which now appears to have not been a factor.