President Barack Obama said his administration made no attempt to cover up or downplay the involvement of terrorists in last year's deadly attack on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, and said the congressional investigation has turned into a "political circus."
The White House released information about the terrorist link soon after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks, Obama said today, and Congress previously saw e-mails about the administration talking points used by United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice that have become a focus of critics.
"The whole thing defies logic, and the fact that this keeps getting churned out, frankly, has a lot to do with political motivations," Obama said at a White House news conference with visiting U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.
The attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Today was the first time Obama has addressed the issue since a new round of congressional hearings began last week.
Republicans assert the Obama administration manipulated the characterization of the day’s events, and played down for political reasons the link to terrorism and warnings from intelligence agencies before the attacks.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California, held last week’s hearings. House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has vowed that "more hearings and more information" are to come.
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