This is an example of why I prefer primary sources when I post here about Secretary Clinton. Senator Corker was on MSNBC this morning and suggested that if Mme. Secretary can testify on Benghazi on January 22, perhaps as early as that afternoon the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under the direction of the future chair, Robert Menendez (congratulations, Bob), will confirm current chair, John Kerry as Secretary of State. Here is how Politico picked it up and reported it.
By BOBBY CERVANTES | 1/8/13 2:41 PM EST
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will likely testify Jan. 22 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the deadly U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi, the panel’s top Republican said Tuesday.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on MSNBC that he has spoken with Clinton’s chief of staff and said she seems “anxious” to testify on the Hill, following weeks of hospital visits after a concussion.
“I think they feel she’s going to be healthy enough to come in that day,” he said. “If that were to occur, and again this is Sen. [Robert] Menendez’s decision, we could move very quickly, maybe even that afternoon, to Sen. [John] Kerry’s [nomination] hearings.
By this afternoon it was viral that this date was “set.” Whoa, Nellie! It was not until after 4:30 this afternoon that that daily press briefing notification went out, but it was another hour or so before the transcript was actually posted. What Victoria Nuland said is at odds with what Politico reported.
QUESTION: And any updates (inaudible) on the issue about when the Secretary could testify on Benghazi and when the confirmation hearing for Senator Kerry could be held?
MS. NULAND: We’re still working with the Hill on all of those things, but I think we talked in some detail yesterday about the expected timing. They’re not coming back to work – the committees are not – until after the inaugural.
QUESTION: What is the Department’s preferred sequence in those hearings? That the confirmation hearing should precede the Benghazi hearing, or vice versa?
MS. NULAND: I don’t think we’re going to negotiate that here with you all. We’re working on it with the Hill to make sure that it’s appropriate for their needs and for ours. But as I said, the goal on our side is that we would have the Secretary able to testify, as she’s promised to do while she’s still sitting Secretary, but also have the confirmation hearing as quickly as appropriate after they come back in.
QUESTION: And just for the record, why is it important to the Secretary that her testimony on this matter should unfold while she is sitting Secretary?
MS. NULAND: Well, I think that’s appropriate. That’s what the Hill seems to want, and that allows her to complete her obligations as Secretary while she’s Secretary. Makes sense.
QUESTION: Then this would have to be done rather quickly. In theory, you wouldn’t want to have a confirmed Secretary, next Secretary waiting around until this happens, right?
MS. NULAND: I think we are hopeful that we can work this all through very smoothly with the committees.
So in fact, as late as this afternoon, nothing has been set – demonstrating why this blog, when it loses the primary source at the State Department will not be resorting to secondary sources unless confirmation can be made. It is going to be a hard slog, folks.
I am not saying that the January 22 date will not end up being the date of the testimony. I am only saying that it is irresponsible reporting to say that date is “set.”
All we really know is that Secretary Clinton has ordered all of the ARB recommendations to be implemented, that she is committed to cooperating with the committees, and that she intends to testify as sitting SOS.