Caught red handed, the White House admitted to copy-editing part of the CIA's talking points on the Benghazi attack given to Susan Rice. The only thing they changed, though, was a reference to the building that was attacked.
Originally referred to as a 'consulate,' the White House changed the talking points to read 'diplomatic facility' because the building wasn't technically an official consulate, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes explained on Saturday:
"The only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department was to change the word ‘consulate’ to the word ‘diplomatic facility,’ since the facility in Benghazi was not formally a consulate," said Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes. "Other than that we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community. So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made.”
The reason Rhodes had to come out and explain such a minor edit is because Republicans insist the words Al Queda were edited out of the talking points by the White House before they were given to Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador, to do a tour of the Sunday morning shows. Republican Peter King said the topic was discussed during David Petraeus' closed door hearing about the attack on Friday. But the White House says they didn't do it, and left it open for another agency to take the brunt of the blame here (if the words were in the talking points at all).
Rice has been a focal point of criticism for her performance on the Sunday shows because Republicans keep insisting she blamed the Benghazi attack on the anti-Muslim movie, Innocence of Muslims. When a rumor circulated she was going to be the new Secretary of State, John McCain freaked out. We looked at it and she didn't say that at all, but that's not going to stop John McCain from criticizing her.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.