Hillary Clinton met with Susan Rice just before the United Nations ambassador appeared on political talk shows and blamed the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi on a spontaneous demonstration, a move that ultimately dashed her hopes for higher office.
A schedule published by the State Department Monday indicates Clinton and Rice met the morning of Sept. 14, 2012, three days after the Benghazi attack and two days before Rice made her now-infamous round of the Sunday shows.
The subject of Clinton’s Sept. 14, 2012 meeting with Rice was not listed on the schedule that was just made public. But the fact that Clinton met with the ambassador just before she parroted a false narrative raises new questions about Clinton’s handling of Benghazi.
The meeting was revealed in a batch of Clinton’s private emails made public by the State Department Monday as part of a FOIA lawsuit filed by Vice News.
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The release of 7,800 pages of records marked the largest such trove posted online by the agency to date. With two more releases to go, the State Department has now published roughly 66 percent of Clinton’s emails.
Although the newest batch contained emails that had been released in previous productions, it also contained a number of Benghazi-related records that had not been previously disclosed.
Several of those records contradicted testimony Clinton delivered to the select committee on Oct. 22, during which Clinton attempted to downplay findings that emerged through the discovery of her private emails.
Clinton herself has come under fire recently for privately acknowledging the fact that the Sept. 11 raid was a premeditated attack while publicly speculating that the diplomatic compound could have simply been overrun during a protest over an inflammatory YouTube clip.
But at the time, Rice took the brunt of such criticism, with many wondering who in the administration instructed her to promote talking points that have since been debunked.
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In her 2014 memoir Hard Choices, Clinton defended Rice’s appearances by insisting the former UN ambassador had been acting on intelligence she had at the time.
“Critics accused [Rice] of trumping up tales of a protest that never happened in order to cover up the fact that this had been a successful terrorist attack on President Obama’s watch,” Clinton wrote in the book. “They obsessed over the question of who in the government prepared Susan’s ‘talking points’ that morning and hoped to find evidence of heavy-handed political malfeasance by the White House.”
An email released by the State Department through the Freedom of Information Act around the same time as the publication of Clinton’s memoir showed the White House did indeed prepare Rice for her interviews. White House officials encouraged Rice “to underscore…