White House press secretary Jay Carney brushed off a question at today’s briefing about whether President Obama has even visited the survivors of the Benghazi attack.
Congressional sources have told PJM that some of the survivors of the Sept. 11 are believed to still be recovering at Walter Reed, including a potential amputee. But the Hill is largely in the dark about the tales the survivors have to tell.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has long asserted that the Obama administration is trying to keep the survivors away from Congress, told Fox News last week that he has been able to contact some of them and heard a “chilling” story.
“They feel afraid to tell it. It’s important they come forward to tell their story. The best evidence of what happened in Benghazi is not a bunch of politicians in Washington trying to cover their political ass, it’s the people who lived through the debacle,” Graham said. “…Some are back, working for the government. Some are still injured. The bottom line is, they feel that they cannot come forward. They’ve been told to be quiet.”
“The White House is certainly not preventing anybody from having access to any of the survivors of the Benghazi attack,” Carney said today. “I think it’s worth noting that government employees — in this case, some of them in highly sensitive positions — have responsibilities that existed before and exist after an attack like that. But investigation is ongoing.”
“Cooperation with and briefing of members of Congress continues in the investigation, as appropriate, and has been in keeping with the incredible amount of cooperation we have provided to Congress, and all of their inquiries with regard to the Benghazi matter,” he continued. “So I’m not sure what else to say about this. I know that some general assertions had been made. But the fact of the matter is it’s under investigation and certainly nobody at the White House is preventing anybody from talking to anyone.”
It was noted in the White House briefing room that Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that he had gone to Walter Reed and met with one of the survivors.
“To your knowledge, has President Obama made any effort to meet with or speak with any of the Benghazi survivors himself?” Carney was asked.
“We don’t talk specifics in terms of the president’s visits to Walter Reed,” the press secretary responded.
“I don’t have anything for you on that. I don’t know the answer to that question,” Carney replied.