Obama administration defends Benghazi response
Reaction from former White House press secretary Dana Perino
- Duration 9:31
- Date Oct 11, 2012
Reaction from former White House press secretary Dana Perino
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Backed out of one of our top stories today the White House under pressure and defending its initial reaction to the deadly terrorist attacks.
That we saw and our consulate in media on nine elevenths.
This is we wait to see how this plays in tonight's vice presidential debate.
Watch it'll look now at some of the white house press -- pushing Jay Carney for answers on this question yesterday afternoon.
Given the fact that so much was made at a video.
Has absolutely nothing to do with the entire event -- but there wasn't even a protest.
Outside Bangkok Post.
Didn't President Obama -- first inning later.
First what -- -- your assessment on what we know now is not complete but I would simply say this the I was talking about the state -- so yeah.
But there's no question in the region including Kyra there were demonstrations.
The release of Nvidia.
And I will leave it to.
Those who were testifying on the hill to talk about anyway as they are -- yesterday no there was no protests that that's all he says -- there there I mean Gaza -- Your second -- September 12 president.
Call it terrorism he used the phrase an act of terror terror no active travel.
Then why are you at this podium for several days after that saying we don't know this harassment.
I never said we don't know if it's terrorism and it did there's an issue about the definition of terrorism what is.
President giving -- -- -- news conference laying out to the American people through the aftermath of -- hole.
And terror attack for Americans killed this city he doesn't fit the -- he's been hitting him for talking about being murdered several days out of -- -- control.
He doesn't talk about this act of terror.
When he goes out and visit and talks with -- so I.
Do not agree with your assessment that he hasn't been talking about this it is also the case that there is a campaign going on and he is out there just like his opponent talking about a variety of issues that are of interest to the American people.
Well for those of you follow me on Twitter I said I'll link to the full transcript of yesterday's briefing if you want to see how it all unfolded.
First -- but joining me now to discuss it former white house Press Secretary Dana Perino she's also of course cohost of the five right here on FNC Dana.
I was I think it's a very confusing for for folks at home because there's so much spin and -- so much back and forth but what happened was.
Four Americans got killed in -- -- on September 11 but this year we now know that it was a planned terror attack.
The administration told us in the days after that it was not a planned terror attack that it was a spontaneous.
Demonstration that went awry because people were upset about a video.
And now the administration is telling us well we never ruled out terror and we gave the best information as we had its.
And that they're pretty explicitly blaming intelligence officials for a missile beating them which is why they say they've misled America.
Not in the least and what you said that the administration is under considerable pressure for the white house press -- they better keep that pressure on.
Let's set aside the campaign for a second -- administration -- no responsibility.
To the people of the that were killed to those families -- to the American taxpayer who has watched it from the first day.
Was told that this was all sparked because of the video we turned out not to be true.
Now on the record -- State Department officials saying we never actually thought that.
If I would the white house Press Secretary I think I would have just said.
You guys have some very valid questions but before I went and now I -- make sure I knew that exactly what everybody had sent US special report last night and a timeline of Brett -- had.
It what it is very damning to say the least and they have a responsibility to all of us to level with us in the other thing is Megan they have left President Obama extremely exposed.
Because with your own eyes you can listen and hear what they said and and look at the video I know that Secretary Clinton standing next to the remains of -- Stephens blames a video for days later.
Then there and her at the United Nations ambassador says so emphatically on all the Sunday shows.
When all -- while you could look at the evidence at on your TV screens and come here own conclusions and know that this was a terror attack.
Let's just talk about that for a minute because -- week we covered this ceremony live on this show.
On this show we watch this live and we heard Hillary Clinton -- her Barack Obama.
And still it was all about a video was all about a -- this is the Friday after these four men were murdered on the Tuesday.
What that State Department said yesterday was extraordinary and what big what they told reporters at a briefing the night before yesterday look let's just say a picket so -- there.
Forties later Hillary Clinton abrupt about her saying it's about a video.
And that it was that it was spontaneous.
Now look let me put on the screen is full screen what what we learned yesterday.
And this is it tick -- on the night that investors Stephenson the other three men were killed look most happening at the consulate in Libya there was no protests Fox News reported this -- -- weeks ago.
-- and was pushed back about whether we were right what we were right look at the State Department official account is 7:30 PM ambassador -- meets with the Turkish diplomat at 830.
He walks his -- out nobody's reported to be in the streets.
And by 9:40 PM security cameras and I'm gonna show you the video now.
-- armed men in dating the compound armed men with -- of the Belgrade grenades on their shoulders.
At a assessment yesterday that how many of those we have missing -- -- ten to 20000.
So these men show up at 940 there was no protests Dana this is what the administration knew.
And and on top that Hillary Clinton who's the secretary of state is telling us on that Friday that it was about a profit of of the video and listen to what the State Department look at the second full screen.
-- with the State Department official said.
When when she when they were -- wait a minute.
What -- all of the events that you've described talking about that the tick -- and the night he died.
Led officials to believe the first several days that this was all prompted by protests against the video and look at the response.
Look at it here.
That is a question you would have to ask others.
That was not our conclusion the State Department did not believe it was about the video is what they're saying and yet that secretary of state had a very different message.
I think there's something going on here Megan.
But the civil servants at the State Department does who are not.
His serve at the winds of of which whichever political parties and -- those lifelong.
Career diplomats who work at the State Department they are an open rebels and for very good reason.
Yesterday I thought it would have been a standup thing to do for Secretary Clinton.
To go and testify.
Because all of these other people all the career officials at the State Department who worked very hard every day had no that they -- thrown under the bus.
The President Obama is extremely exposed because -- very saying this question about reporter acid nobody has come to the conclusion on and we -- gonna keep asking it.
Who was the so original source who originally told the White House and the State Department to use the video as an excuse.
Who was it.
But wait that -- I want to that.
I want to speak to that because there were reports in the days after the attack that suggested this is from a Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee that it was General David Petraeus who has -- the CI AA who went before them.
And blame -- on the video and it was new reporting by Catherine Herridge Catherine -- on that today suggesting.
That a briefing by Petraeus suggested that the video was to blame if that is true Dana.
If the head of the CIA went in there and told lawmakers and told Susan Rice -- be administration that this is about a video.
Then that they may be to blame for not questioning that and pronouncing it is true before a full investigation was underway.
What are they really to be blamed for saying what the CIA director was allegedly telling.
Well they should follow that that trail wherever it leads.
That could be sure if you think about the CIA.
I -- on the first night that they would end up trying to blame -- Intel community for this.
Even the -- follow that where it is.
And we need to know because if our intelligence is really that bad after all the time and resources and effort we have put into making sure that we have what we need to protect the future terrorist attack.
Then we have bigger problems and even that.
But set that aside for a mom and go back to the White House went on -- in even in the days.
When they knew that the video is no longer the excuse they still used it because they wanted it to be true.
Because it fit -- fit in narrative you've been yet he's at it and it and it is bad Press Secretary says that he says -- -- -- there's -- campaign so what.
You've got the worst mistake that they may of this campaign is on the -- that ambassador Stevens died.
They still sent President Obama to and Las Vegas where he did a bunch of fund raisers -- -- -- person or rainy -- every answer questions about this.
Now and then we had testimony yesterday which we haven't even gotten to.
About the inadequate security right that was there for these four men and testimony by Charlene -- the deputy assistant secretary of state for international programs has said.
The department had quote the correct number of assets in bank -- at the time they had.
Thanks -- is suggesting that the security was adequate which however she's -- -- she's she's contradicted on that same panel by lieutenant colonel what.
Who says that when he was there he knew that they were sitting ducks that they -- if they did and get more protection that this was just a matter of time before it before there was an attack unfortunately.
If our Intel was that bad that's one thing the second thing is somebody lied to the American people -- we deserve to know who.
We will see this will almost certainly come up tonight at the vice presidential debate we'll see how they handle it in a -- -- on the five thank you coming up now.