Forced to take questions about the event that will not go away during a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Barack Obama angrily pushed back Monday on the idea of a coverup of the Benghazi consulate attack. Specifically, the President was asked about Friday's reports about the infamous talking points that were distributed following the attack, and emails that revealed discussions about the political impact of the attack. The news reports suggested that the State Department requested changes to the talking points based on political considerations.
The president called the emails a "side show" and insisted that the "whole thing defies logic." Obama said that there was nothing new in the reports, and that most of the information used to actually build then was given to Congress months ago, with little fanfare at the time.
Obama also complained that the controversy is a politically motivated one, created by those who want to challenge the integrity of Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and himself to use as a fundraising opportunity. Obama said, "We dishonor [the dead] when we turn this into a political circus," adding "There's no there, there."
The President was also asked about the burgeoning IRS scandal, but he said he only learned about it at the same time everyone else did on Friday. He said if the allegations are true that the behavior is "outrageous" and "there's no place for it" in government. "This is something I think people are properly concerned about," Obama said. While he did not lay out any specific actions that would be forthcoming, Obama did add that "I've got no patience for it. I will not tolerate it."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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