Moderate Republican senator Susan Collins blasted Susan Rice after a 95-minute meeting with the UN ambassador Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Collins, a one-time Rice supporter, echoed the sentiments of other Republicans who have been critical of the UN ambassador, though she stopped short of saying she would block Rice from being confirmed as the next secretary of state if President Barack Obama nominates her for the post.
"I continue to be troubled by the fact that the UN ambassador played what is essentially a political role," said Collins, according to USA TODAY.
Collins' comments refer to Rice's statements and interviews in the days following the Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
They represent the latest round of criticism from Republicans and come a day after Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said they would block Rice from the post.
More from GlobalPost: White House blasts Republican efforts to block Susan Rice from State post
"What troubles me so much is the Benghazi attack in many ways echoes the attacks on those embassies in 1998, when Susan Rice was head of the African region for our State Department," Collins said. "In both cases the ambassadors begged for additional security."
Collins had previously supported Rice's nomination to her current job at the UN when she appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 2009.
As GlobalPost wrote previously, the White House spoke out Tuesday against the Republicans' latest attacks. Press secretary Jay Carney said the GOP has an "obsession" with Rice's statements about the Benghazi assault, Yahoo News reported.
At issue is that Rice incorrectly suggested the attack, which killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, was the result of spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video, rather than a terrorist attack, as was later determined.