Benghazi Backlash

New report attempts to answer questions of who was behind the attack that killed U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
3:00 | 12/29/13

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Transcript for Benghazi Backlash
We turn next here to a new report tonight that attempts to paint a clearer picture of what really happened in benghazi, where the u.S. Lost an ambassador and three other americans in that attack. Afterward, there were serious questions about who was behind the attack and whether the obama administration could have done more to protect the americans there. Abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl tonight. Reporter: There have been two dramatically different versions of what happened that september 11th night in 2012, when four americans, including a u.S. Ambassador, were killed in benghazi, libya. The initial story from the administration was that it was a spontaneous protest against an anti-islamic video that turned horribly violent. What this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what had transpired in cairo. Reporter: Congressional republicans investigating the attack say it was preplanned, carried out by al qaeda-linked terrorists and had nothing to do with a video. Al qaeda is not decimated and there was a group that was involved that is linked to al qaeda. Reporter: Now, a "new york times" concludes both versions were flawed. The story, based on mostly anonymous eyewitness accounts, says there is no proof al qaeda played any role at all, and that many of the attackers were in fact motivated by that anti-muslim web video. But the "times" account also says there were no spontaneous protests. And that the attack began when a group of heavily armed men assaulted the u.S. Compound in benghazi. Top republican on the house intelligence committee said today it is simply inaccurate to say there was no al qaeda involvement. And he suggested the story is an attempt to defend then secretary of state hillary clinton. Now thinking about running for president. Find the timing odd. I don't want to speculate on why they might do it. But I can tell you the information that is being presented is not accurate in its portrayal. And jon karl is traveling with the president as the first family spends the holiday in hawaii. Jon, benghazi will likely play a role in the next presidential election, particularly if hillary clinton decides to run. How about the new pole this weekend making headlines, if it's hillary clinton up against chris christie? Reporter: That's right. Hillary clinton leading all republican potential candidates except for chris christie. The interesting thing about that, david, christie almost never talks about benghazi. He virtually never mentions it. Something, I imagine, would change, if that poll remains the same and he becomes the leading republican candidate. All right, back to the beach tonight. Jon karl with the president there in hawaii. Jon, thank you.

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

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