Exclusive: Rep. Peter King speaks out on Petraeus testimony
New York congressman on Benghazi hearing
- Duration 11:10
- Date Nov 16, 2012
New York congressman on Benghazi hearing
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Back -- -- one of our top stories in the big news from Capitol Hill today on the US consulate attack in Libya that killed four Americans including our ambassador.
Former CIA director David Petraeus meeting with the house and senate Intel committees today telling lawmakers.
He knew this attack was terrorism from the very beginning.
This is his first Capitol Hill appearance since he resigned last Friday over an extramarital affair.
And it comes just one day after.
Committee members heard from look at the list.
Director of National Intelligence James clapper the acting CIA director Michael Morales.
The National Counterterrorism Center director Matthew Olsen.
The FBI deputy director -- Joyce and the undersecretary of state for management and management pat Kennedy.
It was the most comprehensive account to date of what happened on the ground in Ben -- on 9/11 of this year.
One of the people who has heard all of the testimony is congressman Peter King.
He's on the Intel committee and he's also chairman of the house homeland security committee and he spoke with us just a short time before we -- money here.
-- -- mr.
chairman welcome back to the program we appreciate the human -- what's a busy day for you I wanna start with General Petraeus his testimony before you this morning.
He now says he and the CIA knew this was terrorism from the beginning.
The General Petraeus says that when he.
Came to the committee back on Friday September 14.
He had been told us that he thought it was a terrorist attack the CIA had believe that -- a -- different streams coming in with a definitely believed it was a terrorist attack.
And when I got a great regard for General Petraeus emphasize that -- -- column -- very different recollection of what he told us on September 14.
He barely mentioned terrorism that -- And the hardened terrorist question he really minimize it totally also on the talking points may get.
Which came from the CIA the ones that said the payments.
Talking points is supposedly.
-- -- -- -- -- They they should say the -- what did you pay for the CIA specifically mentioned al-Qaeda and that al-Qaeda was involved in the attack.
They left the CIA went through a whole process which I believe included the White House and -- -- talking points to finalize.
Or references to al-Qaeda were taken out.
And -- -- -- almost as an afterthought saying there are indications.
Of extremist involvement in the demonstration.
Nothing about the attack nothing about al-Qaeda.
Nothing about they would definitely al-Qaeda was involved -- to -- -- question right now is who trades are talking points and wide.
That is the big question at this hour who change those talking points and why not having spoken to the Director of National Intelligence.
The acting director of the CIA the form now former director of the CIA all within the past 24 hours.
Were were any of those people able to satisfactorily answer that.
Are you know they -- this day they don't know this is a long process -- agency process.
Expression they use it is that when it left the building -- -- -- CIA when it left the building a reference to al-Qaeda was in there.
When it came back it was taken out.
It indicated went to the Department of Justice -- the State Department.
Apparently went to National Security Council and went to public information officers.
We went to they called -- deputies meeting and somewhere along the line that was taken out and that so really change the whole tone of it but they are.
Believable to me that that you have all these officials on something this important.
And no one has been able to tell you the chairman of the homeland security committee or any of these other lawmakers on Capitol Hill who removed the al-Qaeda -- references.
From the talking points that would be delivered to the American people there's been no accountability by these folks who answer to us we the people the -- you are represented just.
And -- agree completely especially since the president and the vice president the administration.
Have hidden behind the fact all along that Susan Rice only that set on the TV program.
What she was tall was the best assessment of the intelligence community or fact is the best estimate of the intelligence community on September 15 and sixty.
Was that there was -- -- -- involvement that was taken out.
And -- me again try to resume I'd say with somebody in the administration had to have taken out it was nobody.
And the Director of National Intelligence office nobody in the CIA that did so someone else to do and I doubt -- the state department of the Defense Department.
Or the Justice Department would be -- problem taking that out but again we were -- of that committee has to be pursued.
How do you find out -- your suspicion is it was it was coming from the White House that's what I hear you saying how do you find out whether that's true.
We have to call -- White House witnesses and here's where the problems we have each committee -- limited jurisdiction yet.
Intelligence committee only deals with intelligence community Yahoo! services -- committee deals with the Defense Department -- -- -- with the State Department.
I think it -- And so what we have to get everyone together in the room with the same time including the White House and find out where this was taken out there's limits -- present the president was made such a big issue of this.
Saying an -- -- Joseph Biden as they -- Paul Ryan went out of their way to say.
-- Susan Rice did was read what was giving to -- by the intelligence community we now know that was not the conclusion of the intelligence community.
I don't want to get lost in the in the fog of what the administration said about this attack the importance of how old.
This happened in the first place how we lost our ambassador first time in 33 years we had an -- is fascinated.
Along with three other brave Americans right and I know you've heard a lot of testimony that will illuminate.
-- -- Much of it classified so share with me what you can but my understanding is you actually now have seen the videotape.
That was that was that was monitoring the State Department -- the consulate while the attack was under way.
-- -- -- I did see the videotape one of the things that struck me the most was there was a Libyan security guards at the front gates.
There were there in a vehicle.
About twenty seconds before the attack began that vehicle -- often disappear.
And the attackers came they're -- through the front gate.
So here we are there -- governor's home with the -- and battle out.
Use our security personnel -- -- weapons outside the front gate we had to rely on Libyan security and yet this has -- inside job.
About 1020 seconds before the attack began and so that would be in god in their vehicle take off.
And allow the -- -- the attackers to -- Other you know some of the more sobering scenes -- seeing the investors body being taken out.
Seeing the -- -- -- the attack on the addicts.
The through the accuracy of the mortar rounds qualify -- by the terrorists to show this this -- experienced people they've landed a significant number of mortar rounds.
Perfect perfect artist so it's from the sophistication of the attack.
And also showed how violently the American sports.
We have Libyan security supposedly protecting our guys my understanding is both at the consulate and at the annex.
Did you see a similar addicted.
Seen happen at both places in terms of our our so called Libyan security.
Abandoning their posts at the annex.
The -- story at the console it.
Not in the attic and get the -- -- -- to tell because we have -- people at that time of fighting back to the fighting as I recall restore the attitude fighting and already begun.
As far as the content you actually show up.
The terrorist arriving wolf first -- -- the -- take off.
And then you -- the terrorist -- And when you talk about the accuracy you know the pin the pin -- accuracy at the -- when they were firing mortars at our former Navy SEALs and and CIA operatives.
Is there any doubt having listened to those briefings that this was a coordinated pre planned effort could that have been put together last minute.
I don't -- could have been and I don't see how you could of gotten people and with that level of skill on a moment's notice.
Say that that was I was very high level type accuracy pinpoint accuracy.
To land exactly where they want them to.
I mean all that anyone who's been in the military would say that -- that that was really exceptionally well done.
And I also remember going back to September 14 when we raise that issue.
With General Petraeus at that time you minimize that.
It's as well a lot of people Libya have all -- they have.
Mortar weapons and you know that can be done well -- practice now.
We acknowledge that they acknowledged that was when the main reason why they convinced that it was a -- -- -- -- something happened September 14.
And it changed from the raft of important -- -- and ended September 20 seconds over eleven days.
Misleading story was out there.
I know General Petraeus testified to -- that that the but I do want to speak to you a little bit if I -- about general -- somebody else who's come under the microscope this week.
For allegedly mean the best I've seen is -- be receiving.
Potential -- inappropriate emails are engaging in potentially inappropriate emails.
With this social liaison who has parties for the troops -- has parties for the generals and raises money for the troops and so -- down in Tampa Florida her name is Jill Kelly.
My information tell me whether I have it right at mister chairman is -- there's -- and nothing to substantiate that thus far that general Allen.
Has himself engaged in anything inappropriate thus far.
Heard nothing it indicating that he's done any inappropriate they -- the first days flurry of stories I've heard nothing since then.
I've spoken to people who are in the military.
-- have a great regard for general Allen and they they feel.
That is to be exaggerated but I've not seen the emails I'm not involved that investigation of what I'm hearing secondhand is that general Allen.
Again the reason this interpretation via the general Allen is not.
They're not kind of -- -- a unity that was wrong.
It's it's an important point obviously because we -- -- -- and -- generalized General Petraeus -- unfortunately no longer but that.
-- -- I don't get right to decide on that sure I have the greatest I.
Both before during and after -- the British regard for General Petraeus even though.
I was probably the most north -- hostile question -- but General Petraeus today we had a very good conversation afterwards I emphasized to him that thanks and gratitude all of us have.
The service a year they gave this country and hopefully we are gonna still remain friends he's an outstanding person anonymous department you quick -- did he seem okay.
Yes he was a little.
In the beginning it seemed a little concerned.
But once you get into what you -- General Petraeus he was going back and forth to the -- -- we have great recollection of facts and figures we disagree in terms interpretations.
But -- he was there when she got into what he was he was very good but listen he realizes what he -- himself.
And to the CIA and -- realizes it's also inflicted.
There was no -- -- from -- knowledge of front committed tremendous -- tremendous mistake.
And he apologized and went on from that but once you get into his testimony -- -- General Petraeus -- Mr.
chairman thanks for being here.
Thank you make it.