The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said the most one could call President Obama’s statement on the Benghazi attack was “ambiguous,” but said the commander in chief’s behavior through the incident has been “shameful.”
“As far as it being an act of terror, the president was almost four minutes into his statement on September 12th before he mentioned an act of terror. It followed a paragraph in which he was talking after September 11th,” Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said on CNN.
“When he — earlier in his statement, when he was talking about the attack in Benghazi, he didn’t say anything about terrorism at all — nothing about an act of terror. It wasn’t until he was well into the remarks and anyone looking at it will be confuse, is he talking about Benghazi or is he talking about September 11th or all acts of terror? So, at the very least, the most you could say for him is ambiguous,” he said.
“But then follow in the next week, when no one in the administration used the words the terrorism at all. Susan Rice — Jay Carney was going out of his way to say it was not a terrorist attack. The president himself even he went to the U.N. several weeks later was still talking about the tape. They were talking about a demonstration which was never held. They never even acknowledged terrorism.”
King said he didn’t expect the president to say conclusively, the day after, that it was a terrorist attack.
“But to deny the fact, to ignore the fact that al Qaeda affiliates from that region, there had been terrorist attacks before, to me, this was politics at its worst, because you’re talking about the loss of American life,” he said.
“I’m not saying this is a criminal cover-up. This is a political cover-up because it went against the president’s narrative,” King added. “…Who sat down with Susan Rice? Who gave her talking points? Was David Axelrod involved? Were these White House political people?”
The key takeaway to remember, the chairman said, is “this is going to be a long twilight struggle, the same as John Kennedy described the struggle against the Soviets.”
“Al-Qaeda has morphed, it’s metastasized, it’s gone to several different organizations. It changes tactics and procedures.”