WASHINGTON — may have hoped that paying a conciliatory call on three hostile Senate Republicans on Tuesday would smooth over a festering dispute about the deadly attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and clear a roadblock to her nomination as secretary of state.
But the senators seemed anything but mollified, signaling instead that they would still oppose Ms. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, if she is nominated by President Obama, even after she conceded errors in the account of the assault she gave on Sunday morning television programs shortly after it occurred in September.
Two of the Republicans, of South Carolina and of New Hampshire, said they would seek to block Ms. Rice, who according to administration officials remains Mr. Obama’s preferred choice to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The third Republican, Senator of Arizona, said on Fox that he would be “very hard-pressed” to support Ms. Rice.
“Bottom line, I’m more disturbed than I was before,” Mr. Graham said after the tense, closed-door meeting.