One week after securing re-election, Sen. Bob Corker has continued to make comments criticizing the Obama administration over its response to September’s terrorist attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.
Corker, who has been widely speculated to take the top Republican post on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was reported by The Huffington Post describing the content of a recent closed-door committee meeting on the attack, which killed a U.S. ambassador along with three American staffers.
Following the meeting, the senator and former Chattanooga mayor told reporters that top intelligence officials who had briefed committee members had “let everyone know immediately” what they knew as the attack unfolded on Sept. 11.
Corker added that Democratic committee members had been “shocked” upon hearing portions of the testimony.
“What’s the right word? Quizzical,” he was reported saying.
Corker, who has been an outspoken critic of both last year’s American intervention in Libya and the response to last month’s attack, also directed a portion of his comments this week toward U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who is being considered by President Barack Obama for secretary of state.
Rice has come under criticism, particularly from GOP lawmakers, for characterizing the attack as a spontaneous response to an anti-Islamic video on YouTube when she was featured on news talk shows in the days following the event.
Foreign Policy reported the senator describing Rice’s public comments at the time as being “beyond belief.”
“How could we, knowing that our intelligence officials in Libya in real time while the event was taking place were letting our folks know back here that this was a terrorist attack-it’s beyond me that we would be out publicly talking about the event in that way,” he said. “It’s beyond belief.”
Since the attack, Corker has penned numerous letters, introduced legislation and traveled to Libya on a fact-finding trip to meet with U.S. and Libyan officials to discuss the event.
Closed hearings regarding the attack are expected to continue this week.