Emails: White House Knew of Libya Terror Claims
By Jack Phillips On October 24, 2012 @ 10:02 pm In National News | No Comments
Just two hours after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that left Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens dead, the White House received emails stating that Islamic militants had taken credit for the attack.
Official emails said that the Libyan militia Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the Benghazi consulate attack on Sept. 11, and it said the White House and State Department knew about it.
“They were a part of the many different reports we were receiving that day,” a White House official said in an email, according to CNN. “There are always multiple and conflicting reports in the initial hours of an attack. That’s why you have an investigation.”
State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the claim was posted on Facebook, which is not an official or reliable source. “It is not in and of itself evidence, and I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time,” she said, according to CBS News.
During the recent presidential debates, Republican challenger Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama for saying that his office did not know that militants were behind the attack. The White House originally said the attack may have been linked to a demonstration over an anti-Islam video that triggered protests across the Muslim world. They later reported that militants may have been behind the attacks, after intelligence confirmed the initial claim.
Republicans claim the White house did not notify the public quickly enough. Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte expressed their “deep concern” about the emails, according to a statement.
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