A top White House staffer accused Chris Wallace of Fox News of echoing “offensive” assertions by Republicans that President Obama “didn’t take action” during the September terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and four other Americans.
During a contentious interview on Fox News Sunday, senior presidential adviser Dan Pfeiffer rejected Wallace’s questions about Obama’s actions during the Benghazi attack as suggesting that “somehow there was something that could have been done differently … that would have changed the outcome here.”
Wallace repeatedly asked Pfeiffer where the president was and what he was doing while terrorists were attacking the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Pfeiffer refused to answer Wallace’s question of whether Obama entered the White House Situation Room during the Sept. 11 attack, saying, “I don’t remember what room the president was in on that night, and that’s a largely irrelevant fact.”
Pfeiffer also appeared Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’s Face the Nation, ABC’s This Week and CNN’s State of the Union. The Obama adviser’s Sunday show tour appeared focused on portraying criticism of the president as partisan, as when he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that e-mails released this week “undermine all of the allegations that Republicans have been making for months about” the Benghazi attack. Similarly, interviewed by Bob Schieffer on CBS, Pfeiffer derided as “partisan fishing expeditions” the congressional investigations of the Benghazi attack and the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service.
Ambassador Christopher Stevens, State Department information officer Sean Smith, and two embassy security personnel, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were killed last September in the Benghazi assault which occurred on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks of 2001. Administration officials originally described the attack — which involved mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and truck-mounted automatic weapons — as spontaneous “demonstrations” about a YouTube video. It was subsequently revealed that the CIA had immediately attributed the attack to Libyan terrorists probably connected to the al-Qaeda network. On CBS Sunday, Pfeiffer said that the question of who edited the administration’s “talking points” about the Benghazi attack was “largely irrelevant.”
- Daniel Halper, The Weekly Standard: Obama Aide: ‘Irrelevant Fact’ Where President Was During Benghazi Attacks
- ABC News: ‘This Week’ Transcript: White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer
- William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection: On #Benghazi, question may be “What did Obama do, and when did he do it?”
- CBS News: Pfeiffer: “Partisan fishing expeditions” won’t “distract” White House
- Meghashyam Mali, The Hill: Pfeiffer defends White House handling of IRS targeting scandal