Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called on President Barack Obama to step up and denounce the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three Embassy employees.
“The president needs to go on TV and set this right,” Rogers said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This can’t be about the election. It has to be about an American ambassador who was killed.”
He described the suspects’ killings of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three Americans as “wildly successful even beyond their dreams to be able to kill the American face in Libya.”
Rogers said al-Qaida or al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists are to blame for the deaths.
“He needs to be out front and leading on this issue,” he said of Obama. “He shouldn’t wait until after November.”
Rogers said when the president, along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, did step up — by recording statements declaring the U.S. government had nothing to do with the controversial online film denouncing the Prophet Muhammad — they failed. He said the actions gave a “permission slip” to al-Qaida officials and Pakistani officials to seek out and kill more Americans.
He described the advertisements as a “horrible idea” and said they “exacerbated the problem.”
“Every American should be offended,” Rogers said of the unrest in the Middle East. “They targeted and killed the face of the United Stated of America…. This is a serious event as I have ever seen.”
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