Chris Matthews: CIA is at fault for giving Rice bad info

Updated
FIle Photo: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice addresses the media following a UN Security Council meeting on July 11, 2012 in New York City.
FIle Photo: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice addresses the media following a UN Security Council meeting on July 11, 2012 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Republicans should quit hammering Susan Rice, and start blaming the CIA for feeding her bad intel, says Chris Matthews.

The Hardball host appeared on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday to discuss the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and whether or not she’s a suitable candidate to be President Obama’s next secretary of state.

Rice, of course, has been under scrutiny for her explanation of the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Rice acknowledged Tuesday that what she did was repeat unclassified talking points that came from intelligence communities. Today host Savannah Guthrie asked if Rice had classified info, should she have been more direct that the information she was providing to the American was incomplete.

“It is a question. We don’t have the answer,” said Matthews.

He added, however, that from “what I’m told she got the facts directly unchanged, un-spun by the White House. Nobody changed anything. If anybody’s at fault here it’s the intelligence community for giving her incomplete information for their own purposes,” said Matthews.

The timing for Obama’s potential nomination of Rice couldn’t be worse, said Matthews.

The president, he says “clearly has to get some separation it seems from the fight over what happened in Benghazi, the testimony she gave on Meet the Press” in mid-September and the issue of picking secretary of state.”

He added, “If he has to make the nomination right in the middle of this, we’ll have an opening act to the second term which will be very messy and hot and not helpful.”

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Chris Matthews: CIA is at fault for giving Rice bad info

Updated