President Obama on Killing of U.S. Ambassador in Libya

President vows U.S. will work with Libya to bring killers to justice, and attacks will not break the two nations' bond.
3:00 | 09/12/12

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Transcript for President Obama on Killing of U.S. Ambassador in Libya
This is an ABC news special report. Good morning I'm George Stephanopoulos we are rejoining again because -- Obama is about to speak in the White House Rose Garden about the violence that broke out in Libya overnight as we have said four Americans killed. Including the US ambassador came when a group of armed and angry militants attacked. The consulate there. They had guns they had appears to have -- rockets they set the consulate. On fire there were several Americans -- side being guarded. By Libyan security. And at the time right now we do know that the ambassador and three other Americans including an information officer. Had been killed it was all sparked by an anti Muslim film produced by an Israeli living in California that film also sparked protests and attacks. On the US embassy in Cairo -- Obama has already put out a written statement. This morning condemning the attacks ordering increased security and American diplomatic posts around the world Jake Tapper is at the White House right now. -- -- great -- we have said the president about to speak any moment Mitt Romney. His opponent for president right now -- audio also spoken out condemning the attacks. Secretary of now -- -- Clinton spoke earlier. This morning at the State Department expressing her condolences I do think Jake Tapper is now wired -- Jake the president had been informed of this early. Overnight and first had been told that the investment unaccounted for but. As I say -- now the president is walking out so let's go right behind the president -- states. Good morning. Every day all across the world. American diplomats and civilians worked tirelessly. To advance the interests and values of our nation. Often. There are -- from their families. Sometimes. Very brave grave danger. Yesterday four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in bank Gaza. Among those killed was our ambassador Chris Stephens as well as. Foreign service officer Sean Smith. We are still notifying the families. -- others who were killed. And today the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans and our thoughts and in our prayers. The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. -- also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers. Who attacked. Our people. -- are found at the United States has been a nation -- respects all faiths. We reject. All efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is -- -- no justification to this type of senseless violence. Not. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. Already many Libyans have joined us in doing so in this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya. Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans. Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety and they carried ambassador -- us. Body to the hospital where we tragically learned that he had -- It's especially tragic but Chris Stevens died in the Gaza because it is a city that he helped to save. At the height of the Libyan revolution. Chris -- our diplomatic post in -- Gaza. -- characteristic skill courage and resolve. He built partnerships with the Libyan revolutionaries and help them as they planned to build a new Libya. When the Gaddafi regime came to -- -- Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya -- worked tirelessly to support this young democracy and I think. Both Secretary Clinton and -- -- deeply on his knowledge. Of the situation on the ground there. He was. A role model to all who worked -- and to the young diplomats. Who aspire to walk in his footsteps. Along with his colleagues. Chris died -- a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. Today the loss of these four Americans -- fresh but our memories of them going wrong. I have no doubt that their legacy will evolved through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them. Back home. For just there was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memories of the 9/11 attacks. We mourn with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan -- hallowed grounds of Arlington cemetery. And had the ruptured say thank you and visit some are wounded warriors at Walter Reed. Met last night we learned the news of this attack in the Gaza. As Americans. Let us never ever. Forget that our freedom is only sustained because our people -- willing to fight for. To stand up for and in some cases lay down their lives for. -- -- countries only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military. Who represent us around the globe. No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve this great nation. Alter that character. Or clips the white of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn for more Americans who represent the very best. The United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see the justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake. Justice will be done. But we also know that the lives these Americans -- stand in stark contrast. To those of their attackers. These four Americans stood up for freedom. And human dignity. This should give every American great pride in the country but they served. In the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also -- to live in freedom and -- dignity. We grieve -- -- fairways. But let us carry on the memory and let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America -- a better world for all of our children. Thank you. May god blessed memory of those we lost and may god bless the United States of America. The President Obama with Secretary Clinton in the Rose Garden -- -- this is an act of war as he walks away. He is now heading to the State Department expressed his condolences personally. Calling this an outrageous and shocking attack and -- the killers we brought. The justice I do want to go to Martha Raddatz has been covering this all night long and Martha we heard the president there confirm the detail leader earlier gotten from secretary. Clinton and ambassador Stevens was it was taken away by some Libyans were trying to. Get in the hospital to help him. -- they apparently worry that the ambassador was unaccounted for. For a number of hours throughout the night the president was told about as well. I thought secretary -- Clinton was especially shaken by this she knows the ambassador so well we still aren't certain how the ambassador died. The Associated Press has interviewed a man who says he treated the ambassador in the hospital and he believes it was smoke inhalation -- severe asphyxiation. He said he tried to revive ambassador Stevens. For about ninety minutes. That's right several Americans were stuck in that consulate when. Winning the set on fire. By the militants and of course and militants in -- By this pretty obscure film innocence of Muslims only mentioned once in its entirety. In a movie theater in Hollywood but the trailer has been out on the Internet since July and it's clearly inflaming Muslims around the world. It it really is in -- apparently they're blocking that YouTube in Afghanistan and the Taliban. Is vowing revenge from Afghanistan a reporter Mohammed -- -- tells us from there. That the Taliban is issuing statements every one is on guard George everyone at all embassies now is on guard on high alert the US fears. This could spread. Let me get a Jake Tapper -- that that was the first thing President Obama ordered in that statement put out early this morning. -- absolutely they're very concerned about this we've seen the riots in the Muslim street. Four years now -- getting back them a more recent example are less recent example having to do those cartoons and that newspaper in Europe. But I would like to -- touches on one thing. When President Obama. Was talking about potential involvement. In Libya this. Type of blow back this type of unexpected consequence unintended consequence is one of the things that -- he was concerned about and what he kept challenging his national security team when Secretary Clinton and others were pushing for involvement. And so we see that obviously there are always unintended consequences when the US gets involved in a foreign country. -- our Marines are being sent there as well -- this is also become part of the political debate Mitt Romney the presence opponents also weighing in this morning. That's right there's a lot of criticism of president Obama's lack of leadership by Republicans when it comes to the Arab Spring. We've heard some of that already an -- Mitt Romney putting out a statement are criticizing the Obama administration. For having their first reaction to be an apology for that film now Romney's basing that on incorrect chronology actually -- statements apologizing for the bigotry in the film came out from the Cairo embassy before. Any of these attacks but Mitt Romney doubling down saying that when he sees a criticism a -- to criticize he will do so apparently even if it is not based in our chronology -- -- campaign Jake -- Martha Raddatz thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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