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Lawmakers Say Report On Benghazi Attack Raises Tough Questions

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll CAll File Photo
Corker, who is expected to become the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee in the next Congress, said improving security for America’s diplomats abroad will require all branches of government to step up.

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., a member of the House Intelligence panel, said the review board’s report made clear that the episode was a “failure of leadership.”

“We need stronger leadership at the State Department, we need the administration to heed warnings from the intelligence community, and we need significantly better security at our diplomatic posts around the world,” he said Wednesday in a written statement.

But the report also rebuts claims by some Republicans that the military and CIA hesitated in responding to the unfolding crisis in Benghazi, saying in both cases the response was immediate but ultimately insufficient given the speed and overwhelming force used in the attack.

Deputy Secretaries William J. Burns and Thomas R. Nides are scheduled to testify Thursday on the Hill. Clinton herself was supposed to testify to Congress on the report and the State Department’s response but withdrew last week after suffering a concussion from a fall. Senators said Wednesday they still hope to hear from Clinton at a later date.

“I have made that clear to her chief of staff that it is our expectation as soon as she is able to testify, she will be appearing before our committee,” Ros-Lehtinen said Wednesday. “That is my expectation and I hope that she will comply with that.”

Corker said it would be very helpful “to fully understand ... from her perspective some of the cultural issues the department is dealing with.”

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