Post-Election Partisanship Heats Up Around Obama's Next Secretary of State

As Hillary Clinton preps for departure, Senate Republicans take issue with potential successor

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) speaks with U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice (L) at a U.N. Security Council meeting on the crisis in Syria on Jan. 31, 2012.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice at a security council meeting, Jan. 31, 2012.

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"Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter," said the letter signed by 97 House Republicans, which was obtained by The Hill. "Recent reports of the discrepancies between the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency's public timelines of the events on Sept. 11 only exacerbate the problem and we believe these inconsistencies deserve closer examination."

Top foreign policy officials have come under scrutiny for misleading comments based on intelligence reports in the past, most notably then-Sec. of State Colin Powell under the Bush administration for alleging that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction in the lead up to the Iraq War.

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  • Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at rmetzler@usnews.com or follow her on Twitter.