It doesn't matter how many closed-door meetings Republicans have with the CIA and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow theorized Tuesday, because Rice being named Secretary of State would prevent them from what they really want: the chance to get another seat in the Senate.

The reason, Maddow said, GOP lawmakers "prefer" Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) get a presidential cabinet nomination -- either to that position or Secretary of Defense -- is that the promotion would open up his Senate seat to a special election.

"You know what? Maybe this is nuts," she conceded. "Maybe this is nuts. Maybe this is way too simplistic. But maybe this makes more sense than the contention we are supposed to believe, which is that two active investigations, multiple hours-long briefings, a statement from the president, a statement from the UN ambassador, a closed-door, more than an hour long meeting with that ambassador, and a personal one-on-one ask me anything with the director of the CIA have not given [Sen.] John McCain (R-AZ) enough opportunity to ask whatever questions it is he wants to ask about remarks made on a Sunday morning talk show two and a half months ago."

McCain, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) continued the political theater surrounding Rice's prospective nomination for Secretary of State Tuesday, telling reporters they came away from meeting with CIA Director Michael Morrell "more troubled" and with "many more questions" that need answering.

But according to Maddow, what isn't being said is that, should Kerry be elevated in Rice's place, former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) would be the presumed GOP pick to go after the open seat, given that he only lost his re-election bid to Elizabeth Warren by eight points.

Watch Maddow trace the link between Rice, Kerry and Brown, and ask her colleague Andrea Mitchell if she can debunk her theory in this segment, aired on MSNBC Tuesday, below.

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