PoliticsNation | November 16, 2012
>>> for weeks, john mccain has been slandering our ambassador to the u.n., susan rice . saying she didn't tell the truth about the attack on our consulate in libya. and even that she's not that the bright. but today, mccain came face to face with the facts. for the first time, we saw the cia talking points on which ambassador rice based her comments on the sunday talk shows . the cia said "the currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the u.s. embassy in cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the u.s. diplomatic post in benghazi and subsequently its annex. there are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations." and, of course, that's exactly what ambassador rice told the american people .
>> our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. we believe that it looks like extremist elements individuals joined in that -- in that effort.
>> ambassador rice reported exactly what she was told by the cia . and testifying behind closed doors on capitol hill today, general david petraeus backed her up. looks like maverick mccain 's flying solo with his fake talk express. joining me now is congressman gary ackerman , democrat from the new york, and senior member house foreign affairs committee and ryan grim, washington bureau chief of the " huffington post ." he's writing about john mccain 's call for a committee to investigate the benghazi attacks today. thank you both for being here tonight.
>> thank you, rempbtd.
>> congressman, let me start with you. in your view, what happened today? is that significant in the mccain smear of ambassador rice?
>> yeah, i think it's very significant. i mean, these people are now being confronted with facts to put the lie to the whole program that they've been embarked on, which has basically been a program to discredit the president and the entire administration. their continuing the war of delegitimate mizing him. they don't understand that they've lost the last two national elections. and these crazy language things that they're using, their completely out of place. beyond the pale kind of tactics which are reprehensible, are not going to work with the american people because the facts are going to be there and they're going to confront them.
>> now, even republican congressman peter king confirmed that the cia came up with those talking points used by ambassador rice. watch this, congressman.
>> the process was completed, and they said okay, go with those talking points . again, i got impression about seven, eight, nine different agencies.
>> but you said the cia said okay to the revised reports?
>> well, they said in that after it goes through the process, they okayed it to go. they said okay for it to go.
>> they said okay to go. so how can senator mccain say that will ambassador rice misled the american people or knew anything different when you even have peter king , a republican peter king , saying yes, the ci app told those are the talking points , go with that?
>> evidently senator mccain has his own sense of reality which is very much beyond the pale and not in the world of reality. he's still fighting the war that he's been fighting against this president trying to discredit him and to make him ig legitimate. ambassador rice is one of the brightest level headed, straight shooting it public servants that we very, bar none . they're trying to get to the president by discredititying her and trying to lay the groundwork for defeating one of the president's possible, nobody's said it, but possible appointees in the upcoming administration. because her name has been mentioned for secretary of state. so they've embarked on that from the beginning. she is well disciplined. she would not be off the program. if she reported what the cia intelligence was, you can bet and the democrats believe that from the very beginning that that was the word from the cia . but the real, real problem confronting america is the way these guys are willing to slander the president and the administration by any means. we certainly didn't do that, the democrats i'm talking about, during the bush administration . when we had a different secretary of state colin powell , and he operated on what he said was the intelligence that he got.
>> which was totally completely false, filled with lies, absolutely absurd when the truth was actually known and we didn't take advantage of it because we are all supposed to act like americans and patriots. these guys are anything but. what these guys have done is they're willing to sack their own quarterback in order to get themselves into the game. those are not team players. these guys are like people on wall street who go in and short a stock which means you go and bet against it. you bet that the stock is going to fall and the company's going to lose money and you cheer for that to happen. because you've made that play, doesn't mean that you're a fan of the company just because you're getting in there. it's a very unpatriotic thing to do.
>> let me go to ryan grim here because i agree with you, congressman. we did not do it to colin powell or to condoleezza rice . ryan , you wrote in your piece in the " huffington post " today something that may begin to explain what mccain is doing. in january, i'm reading from your piece, the arizona senator will lose his top-ranking committee seat due to term limits. the only ranking republican spot available to him next session will be on indian affairs committee . unless the senate creates a brand-new select committee with extensive authority to investigate the benghazi libya attack and the u.s. government 's response." are you suggesting that he wants a committee because he really will not be a major player come january?
>> it's impossible to note what's exactly motivating him, but the facts are these, that he -- his slide into irrelevance would be stemmed by a new committee. you know, he's behind tom coburn on homeland security . he's not on foreign relations . and as you said, he's off his current ranking seat on armed services . he's already done the indian affairs committee . that's the perch he used to go after jack abramoff . so he couldn't really do that again. so if they create a new committee and he's the top republican on it, that allows him to going on sunday shows and continuing to pontificate on.
>> you're breaking news on the position of that new committee?
>> that's right. harry reid send a letter back to him, thanks for the suggestion, but no thanks. he's rejecting the --
>> so the majority leader's rejecting mr. mccain 's request for a special committee .
>> congressman, the way congress works, he has -- he in the senate, even though you're in the house but he in the senate has his work cut out for him if the majority lead ser denying that, wouldn't you say?
>> there's no work for him to do. he doesn't have anything cut out. the majority leader is the one who will make the decision. there's no way that senator mccain can override that. it seems that ryan 's right. this is very, very possibly and we don't know what's in mccain 's mind, but this is a fight to stay relevant on his part. when people try to stay relevant, sometimes they say the whackiest darnedest, can tank russ and wrong head of things. he's on that tangent right now.
>> thank you both for your time this evening. both of you have a nice weekend.
>> you, too.
>> take care.
>> ahead, this republican chairman in maine is apologizing after complaining about "dozens of black people " voting. but his apology actually made it worse. and say good-bye to be this friendship. chris christie speaks on mitt romney 's gifts comment. you got to hear this. stay with us.
>> top ten mitt romney scapegoats. listen to this now, number ten, the ancient sum marians who invented arithmetic. this guy right here, there's paul ryan . number three, fact checkers. i don't get this one either. number two, the republican party for nominating him. ouch. oh.