“So much of this confusion arises because of the difference between what is classified and what is unclassified,” he said. “So you hear different people saying different things at different times, because what is classified cannot be discussed publicly.”
Feinstein said the House panel requested the talking points that Rice eventually relied upon. “I don’t think she should be pilloried for this,” she said. “The way it keeps going, it’s almost as if the intent is to assassinate her character.”
Lawmakers said that House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., declared that questions about the affair that prompted Petraeus’ resignation were off limits, but Petraeus made clear that his resignation was not related to the fatal Benghazi attack.
Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., said that he had a chance to talk to Petraeus in an unclassified setting about his departure from the spy agency.
“He told me he did something dishonorable, and resigning was something honorable,” said the chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, who attended the closed hearing.
Senators also said that they did not ask him about the affair. “We didn’t want to make it any more difficult for” Petraeus to testify on the Benghazi attack, Feinstein said. “We wanted to spare him that.”
Republicans said they wanted to know much more about the Benghazi attack, and more hearings are scheduled for next week. “I believe that there are still questions to be answered,” said Senate Intelligence panel member Dan Coats, R-Ind. “I think that anybody who is drawing conclusions based on these two hearings we’ve had, it’s a premature conclusion.”
Young said that “there are still a lot of questions,” adding, “A lot of that is classified information that should not be classified.”
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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