Transcript for Heavy Revisions of Benghazi Talking Points Called 'Stylistic Changes'
Today you told us that the only change the remains were stylistic -- stylistic change to take out all references to previous terror threat. Well I I appreciate the question again and and I think that what I was referring to was the talking points that the CIA drafted. And sent around. To which one changes made it in and and I I accept -- stylistic may not precisely describe a change of one word to another us Samantha Morton -- -- -- I'm just. Extensive and his. After they were written by the CIA. These were concerns raised by the State Department the White House directed the interagency process to. Two to two to use in making -- well I think he's -- -- original version included references to al-Qaeda and references to Al Ansar Al Islam. It this -- -- ritual CIA version included extensive. Discussion of the previous threats of terrorist attacks in -- -- those were taken out after the CIA -- its initial draft. And in the CIA wrote another draft. At these postings are well but here's here's what I've been saying. No -- what I'm saying is cannot answer this question several times but I'm happy to answer again if you let me answer. And that is that. There was an interagency process which is always the case because a lot of agencies have stakes have a stake in a matter like this -- investigative agency CIA intelligence agencies that. The State Department in this case the national security staff. And everybody provided information and comment and then on Saturday morning the CIA said you know we're gonna take a crack at drafting these points based on what we now. And that things that you're talking about again. Don't go don't go to. That the fundamental issue which was. What would could be said. Concretely about what -- what the intelligence community knew to be true not not. Did some people thought it. Was on senator -- -- -- as some people thought it was other al-Qaeda affiliates or other Libyan extremists so we knew it was extremists are we knew that we believe we knew that -- -- participated. There was also the belief -- -- by the intelligence community and these points that there had been. Protests. Out of which the attack occurred protests in response to. The demonstrations that weren't in Cairo at our -- that -- in response to that the idea that turned out not to be the case but it. But it's -- it it demonstrates. The fluidity of the information the affected it was hard and continues to be hard investigation to. I know concretely especially in the first days afterwards. What happened and that's why we were so careful to say here's what we know -- we believe we know. And every time we said that we fully expect this information to change as we learn more. And it did and we we provide -- -- the holes the whole effort here by Republicans to. Find some. Hidden mystery. Comes to nothing because the president called it an act of terror. The ambassador to the United Nations that very Sunday it has caused Republicans so much concern. Talked about the possible -- and involvement of al-Qaeda and hands on their luxury. The -- All of this is a distraction from. -- key issues. The diplomatic. -- was this attacked by. Individuals in. Libya and thank god for Americans lost their -- From the beginning the president has committed all the resources of this administration this government finding out who was responsible and bringing him to justice he also very clearly. Together with the secretary of state said we need to make sure that we find out what went wrong. What problems there were with security that allowed this to happen. To hold people accountable and to make the necessary changes so that it doesn't happen again and that process. Happened stood up by the secretary of state the process led by. Two of the most. Experienced and widely. Regarded. Figures in national security in Washington. Former chairman of the joint chiefs admiral Mullen and ambassador Tom -- nonpartisan. Serving both. Parties for the different administrations. They conducted an extensive review of this they said they had access to all the information they needed to have access to all the people they needed to talk to. And they produced an unsparing report with a series of very critical. Observations and very -- and very serious recommendations every single one of which the State Department has adopted so that's the way this system should work. And it worked that way because. The president and secretary of state insisted that it worked. -- -- -- -- -- said people need changes that were made by the White House the State Department stylistic any single word. What we see here is the State Department. Raised objections about the references that parents are all -- -- he raised objections to the fact that the CIA had warned about terror. -- in Benghazi prior to the attack. Those. Subjects were taken out of the CIA talking points the direction of the White House based on -- for all -- wrong directions when a state. That is the only the -- that this process has everybody's an -- player in this process says you know everybody's concerns have to be have to be. Listen to and taken into account what ultimately. These were intelligence committee talking points that the intelligence community led by the CIA had gone -- keep you had a long time there. It be that the intelligence community has to sign off on -- believe. Represents the intelligence community's view of what they knew at that time about what happened and again this would be. More significant if we didn't acknowledge from the beginning that extremists were likely involved. That we -- knowledge from the beginning that it could very well have been -- Al Sharia that was involved or al-Qaeda itself or or other affiliates. This is an effort to. Accuse the administration of hiding something that we did not hide in fact we spoke publicly about this secretary and the ambassador to the United Nations. Who was the lead administration official talking about this that weekend spoke openly about that possible. And every bit of information that's come out about what we know happened in -- guys he's been a result of information provided by. Various agencies of the administration. This investigation fact continues to this day just last week. The FBI released photographs of individuals that they believe might be connected to the attack on and -- in their effort to bring those people accountable that's important. Business that remains to be done when it comes -- -- got. -- can -- When when. When you -- what you say did you know that this has gone through twelve versions. There's an extensive changes made -- you're -- that I'm there's always a deliberative process there is always input -- by agencies what I. And I knew that and what I also knew was that the CIA. Saturday morning. Said we're gonna -- these points. They drafted those points and those points were delivered virtually unchanged. With the exception of the one change I mentioned to members of congress and to the administration for years.
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