Soledad, the only real journalist at CNN, is on a roll. This morning she had on Rep Joe Heck(R) Nevada who wants in on the tantrum fest Grandpa McCain and Lindsey Graham have staked out over Susan Rice and the Benghazi attack response.
Rep. Heck tried to spin the faux outrage of the Wingnut Reich over the possibility of Susan Rice being considered for Secretary of State. Soledad asked Heck several times to explain how what Susan Rice did was any different from the position Condoleezza Rice took regarding the untrue WMD fiasco.
He basically says Susan Rice didn't do anything wrong which leaves Grandpa McCain and the rest of the Susan Rice conspiracy clan sliding down bullshit mountain without a harness.
Transcript below the cheetos slug
O'BRIEN: Let's get to Congressman Joe Heck. He's joining us this morning. He is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, which is holding a hearing on Benghazi. That's going to happen in about two hours. He is a Republican, I should mention, from the state of Nevada.
Nice to have you with us, sir. Thank you for being with us.
REP. JOE HECK, (R) NEVADA: Good morning. Thank you.
O'BRIEN: So, let's talk about this hearing first. We know that looks like General Petraeus will in fact be appearing. What exactly do you want to know from him?
HECK: Well, what we're trying to get is all the information regarding the attacks in Benghazi and get a clear timeline because there's still a lot of conflict between what the administration and intelligence community saying on how this attack evolved. And so, we need to have full accountability of the administration, of the intelligence community. We need to have answers and transparency for the American people and certainly for the families of those who were lost.
O'BRIEN: You heard -- I was just talking to Dan Lothian about what the president has said, backing the U.N. Ambassador, Susan Rice. We know that John McCain and Lindsey Graham, both senators, have said they will try to scuttle any nomination if that would happen.
Would you support that scuttling? I mean, do you want to kill her nomination, in fact?
HECK: Well, the fact is you can't put somebody out as the face of the issue on all the Sunday morning talk shows and then turn around weeks later and say she knew nothing about the incident, had nothing to do with it. I mean, that is just plainly wrong. You don't put somebody out who doesn't know about the issue and just have them go out to feed us the information that the administration wants put out. So we have to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi, and certainly the Senate will hold confirmation hearings, if she's nominated to be the Secretary of State and I leave it to the Senate to decide?
O'BRIEN: But didn't that happen with Condi Rice? Yes, I mean, Anderson was asking John McCain this yesterday, right? I mean, if you use that measurement, put someone out, for example, about weapons of mass destruction that turn out, ultimately, not to be the case and they're the face of that and later you determine that they're not there and the information was wrong.
Isn't that exactly analogous of what happened to Condoleezza Rice, who John McCain supported and who Lindsey Graham supported?
HECK: I believe so because here we had a situation where the information was wrong, not coming back and saying that the person had nothing to do with the situation. I mean, Condi Rice was in the position to be able to be the face. The information was wrong.
But here, we had wrong information and then weeks later the administration coming back saying, well, this person had nothing to do with the situation. So, if you want to put somebody out that has information.
O'BRIEN: Let's walk through that more slowly -- let me walk through that more slowly so you don't lose me. You're saying the issue in both cases, weapons of mass destruction and information intelligence coming to the U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, both cases the information was wrong. What you take exception with is what the White House did later? Is that what you're saying?
HECK: Exactly. The fact is that what we have is a situation where somebody who had no firsthand knowledge is now put out to be the face of the incident, and then weeks later saying, come and attack me because she had nothing to do with it.
Look, we not only have to get to the bottom --
O'BRIEN: You've lost me completely. I'm sorry. Forgive me. You've lost me.
In both cases you have someone who says we had intelligence. The intelligence was wrong. What I said was wrong because the intelligence was wrong. How is this not analogous to Condoleezza Rice?
HECK: Because nobody came out and said that Condoleezza Rice had nothing to do with the situation. Here's the difference, is that they put forward really a sacrificial lamb in Ambassador Rice, somebody that could go out and make statements and they could claim deniability after the information was proven to be wrong.
O'BRIEN: So nobody said that Condoleezza -- so, Charles Blow, help me. Forgive me. I'm not being facetious at all. I'm just really trying to understand this. So, he is saying nobody said Condoleezza Rice didn't have anything to do with the situation.
CHARLES BLOW, COLUMNIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": What I'm trying to figure out is are you saying that Condoleezza Rice actually should have known, because she had more intimacy with the information and then still said something that she knew was wrong and then, in fact, Susan Rice is a sacrificial lamb because she was put out as the face of the administration but didn't know anything? So, in fact, it's more of a defense of Susan Rice than it is a condemnation of Susan Rice.
O'BRIEN: That's how it sounds to me.
BLOW: That's how it sounds to me.
O'BRIEN: Forgive me, sir. So you walk us through that one more time. You think it's different because Condoleezza Rice actually had firsthand knowledge?
HECK: Nobody came back after the fact in that situation with Condoleezza Rice to say she had no knowledge, had nothing to do with the situation. Here we're saying that Ambassador Rice was put out as the public face and then after the information blew up, was found to be wrong, was told -- was said that she had nothing to do with the situation and no knowledge.
So why was she put out as the face of the administration on this issue? We have to get to the bottom of not only the response to the attacks in Benghazi, but also to the ultimate failures of the intelligence community recognized the threat and prepare for the threat to mitigate the attack.
O'BRIEN: I feel like you're saying from your own comments that Susan Rice had nothing to do with either of those things. She didn't have something to do with the intelligence failures, which I believe you just said. And it looks as if she had no knowledge at the time. So, she's cleared on that front. Maybe later the White House with his reiterating she had no knowledge.
So, why would you possibly blame her then?
HECK: Well, I'm not blaming ambassador rice. What I'm blaming is the administration for not putting forward the information that they had in a quick enough manner to put clarity to the situation to the American people and the family of those that were lost. We still have conflicting information between intelligence community and the administration and that's what we hope to get to the bottom of today, in an intelligence hearing that we'll be having with Director of National Intelligence Clapper and Acting Director Morell , as well as tomorrow when former Director Petraeus comes before the committee.
O'BRIEN: Congressman Joe Heck, thank you, sir. I appreciate you walking through that slowly for me. I was getting confused about what you were telling me. Thank you.
HECK: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: All right. John Berman has a look at the other stories we're looking at this morning.
BERMAN: Thank you, Soledad. That was interesting.