A congressman says David Petraeus is telling lawmakers he believed all along that the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a terrorist attack.
The former CIA chief is testifying behind closed-doors before the congressional intelligence committees. It's his first Capitol Hill appearance since resigning last Friday over an extramarital affair.
Republican Rep. Peter King tells reporters after the House hearing that Petraeus focused his remarks on Libya.
Lawmakers say Petraeus told them that CIA talking points written after the attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans referred to it as a terrorist attack. But Petraeus says that reference was removed by other federal agencies that made changes to the CIA's draft.
King, who spoke to reporters after Petraeus testified before the House Intelligence Committee, said the talking points are the focus of questioning now.
"No one knows yet exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points," he said.
Petraeus was to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next.
Petraeus' comments are a challenge to the Obama administration's timeline of events which indicated the attack on the Libyan consulate were spontaneous, caused by an angry mob upset at an anti-Muslim video.
"His testimony today was that from the start, he had told us that this was a terrorist attack," King said, adding that he told Petraeus he had a "different recollection."
But the fact that talking points were changed as information made its way through various agencies is sure to spark another round of controversy for the Obama administration
"The original talking points were much more specific about al-Qaida involvement. And yet the final ones just said indications of extremists," King said, suggesting th final product was a watered-down version of a vague "inter-agency process."
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