House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers stopped short of saying the government tried to cover up the terrorist element of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, saying instead the White House’s narrative didn’t match the government intelligence.
“This is what I know,” Rogers said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I know the narrative was wrong, and the intelligence was right. There was some policy decisions made based on the narrative that was not consistent with the intelligence that we had. That’s my concern.”
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other diplomats died in the fiery Sept. 11 incident, and Rogers said the intelligence community knew from the outset it was an act of terrorism.
“Was there an intelligence failure on that day?” he asked. “That’s the first question we have to get right, and I’ll tell you with a high degree of confidence today, will tell you there was not an intelligence failure. The intelligence community had it right, and they had it right early.”
Rogers said the policy decisions that were made leading up to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice’s public address about the attack were wrong.
“Did the policy decisions that happened afterward cause problems for the United States, and I argue it has,” he said.
Rogers also said the administration knew a “high degree of threat” existed at the consulate as a result of lax security.
“I believe that there was a catastrophic failure in recognizing that threat posture, clearly, on that day,” he said. “The State Department, for whatever reason, didn’t make the adjustments I argue, and I think the senator (Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who appeared on "Meet the Press" with Rogers) would argue, would have been prudent to protect the lives of those.”
On the issue of the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, Rogers implied President Barack Obama knew about the affair prior to the election.
“I’m not sure the president was not told before Election Day,” he said.
He said Attorney General Eric Holder told him the Department of Justice did not notify the president, but Rogers did not rule out the possibility Holder informed him.
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