Pfeiffer: “Irrelevant” Who Edited Benghazi Talking Points

Obama Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer Called Questions Over Who Edited The Benghazi Talking Points, “Largely Irrelevant.” CBS’s BOB SCHIEFFER: “What I’m saying to you, is that was just PR, that was just a PR plan to send out somebody who didn’t know anything about what happened. Why did you do that? Why didn’t the Secretary of State come and tell us what they knew and if you knew nothing, say we don’t know yet? Why didn’t the White House Chief of Staff come out, and I mean this as no disrespect to you, why are you here today? Why isn’t the White House Chief of Staff here to tell us what happened?” OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER DAN PFEIFFER: “Well, let’s start with Susan Rice. Ambassador Rice went out that day, and represented the administration, and spoke to what happened with the best information we had, that everyone in the administration had, is what she looked at. And that was the consensus of the intelligence community. What we do, is we want to go out and speak to the problems as they happened. What’s important here is when problems happen, is that the president takes responsibility for them and tries to fix them. That’s what we’re talking about in Benghazi. You’re right, that is an absolute tragedy, what happened. The question isn’t who edited what talking points. That’s largely irrelevant. What is relevant is, what are going to do to make sure that never happens again which is why the president called on Congress to pass legislation to beef up embassy security around the world and protect our diplomats.” (CBS’s “Face The Nation,” 5/19/13)

Dan Pfeiffer: “Irrelevant Fact” Where Obama Was During Benghazi Attacks

Obama Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer Refused To Say Where Obama Was Throughout The Night Of The Benghazi Attacks, Calling It “A Largely Irrelevant Fact.” FOX NEWS’ CHRIS WALLACE: “Let’s turn to Benghazi. I want to ask you about one lingering question, which is the president’s actions on 9/11, the night of the attack, because we don’t very much about that. We do know that in the afternoon he had an already scheduled meeting with Defense Secretary Panetta as well as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Martin Dempsey when he heard about this while they were in the meeting about an unrelated subject, he said that he wanted them to deploy forces as soon as possible. The next time he shows up is when Hillary Clinton says she spoke to him at around 10:00 that night after the attack at the consulate, not as it turns out at the annex, but the attack at the consulate had ended. Question, what did the president do the rest of that night to pursue Benghazi?” OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER DAN PFEIFFER: “Look, the president was kept up to date on this as it was happening, throughout the entire night, from the moment it started until the very end. This is a horrible tragedy; these are people that he sent abroad whose lives are in risk, people who work for him. I recognize that there’s a series of conspiracy theories the Republicans have been spinning about this since the night it happened, but there’s been an independent review of this, Congress has held hearings, we provided 250,000 pages of — 250,000 pages of documents up there. There’ve been 11 hearings, 20 staff briefings, and everyone has found the same thing. This is a tragedy. So the question here is not what happened that night. The question is what are we going to do to move forward and ensure it doesn’t happen again? That’s why Congress should act on what the president called for earlier this week, to pass legislation to allow us to actually implement the recommendations of the accountability review board so we can protect our diplomats around the world, because when we send our diplomats off into far-flung places, theirs is an inherent level of risk. We should do what we can to mitigate that risk.”  WALLACE: “With due respect, you didn’t answer my question. What did the president do that night?” PFEIFFER: “He was kept, he was in constant touch that night with his national security team, and kept up to date with the events as they were happening.” WALLACE: “When you say his national security team, he didn’t talk to the Secretary of State except for the one time when the first attack was over. He didn’t talk to the Secretary of Defense, he didn’t talk to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Who was he talking to?” PFEIFFER: “He was talking to his national security staff, his national security council, are the people who keep him up to date about these things as they happen.” WALLACE: “Was he in the Situation Room?” PFEIFFER: “He was kept up to date throughout the day.” WALLACE: “Do you not know whether he was in the Situation Room?” PFEIFFER: “I don’t know what room the president was in that night. That’s a largely irrelevant fact.” (FOX NEWS “Fox News Sunday,” 5/19/13)

Bob Woodward: Obama Administration Didn’t Tell Truth on Benghazi

Bob Woodward Said That The Talking Points Emails Revealed That The Obama Administration Did Not Tell The Truth About The Benghazi Attack. BOB WOODWARD: “Well, I think on the whole Benghazi thing. You look at those talking points and, I mean, the initial draft by the CIA very explicitly said, we know that activists who have ties to al Qaeda were involved in the attack. And then you see what comes out a couple of days later and there is no reference to this. This is a business where you have to tell the truth and that did not happen here.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 5/19/13)

Jen Psaki Blames the CIA for Benghazi Talking Points Four Times in Four Minutes

State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki: “These Were CIA Points. They Were CIA Edited. They Were CIA Finalized.” STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON JENPSAKI: “Well, let me start by just reminding you that these were CIA points. They were CIA edited. They were CIA finalized. So the ultimate result of this was the best estimate, at the time, of the intel community.” (Jen Psaki, State Department Press Briefing, Washington, DC, 5/13/13)

  • Psaki: “These Were CIA Points Of The Intel Assessment At The Time. They Made The Decision About What The Final Points Were Going To Include.” STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON JENPSAKI: “There were issues that were raised. But, again, to go back to the bottom line point here: these were CIA points of the intel assessment at the time. They made the decision about what the final points were going to include. They did include information at the end that we later learned was inaccurate.” (Jen Psaki, State Department Press Briefing, Washington, DC, 5/13/13)
  • Psaki: “These Again Were CIA Talking Points.” REPORTER: “I thought the decisions about what would finally go into them were made by the Deputies Committee. Is that not correct?” STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON JENPSAKI: “These again were CIA talking points.” REPORTER: “I know that. But that’s not my question.” (Jen Psaki, State Department Press Briefing, Washington, DC, 5/13/13)
  • Psaki: “I’m Just Pointing You To The Fact That These Started And Ended As CIA Talking Points.” REPORTER: “My question is was the decision of what would be included and not included ultimately made by the Deputies Committee or, rather, by the CIA at its sole discretion?” STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON JENPSAKI: “I can’t parse that any farther.  These were, one, prior to my arrival here. But also that were made out of this building. But I’m just pointing you to the fact that these started and ended as CIA talking points.” (Jen Psaki, State Department Press Briefing, Washington, DC, 5/13/13)

Obama’s Support For Israel Questioned By Voters

A New Poll Shows Increased Doubts About Obama’s Support For Israel

"Hill Poll: President’s Support For Israel Found Wanting By Many Voters." (Lara Seligman, “Hill Poll: President’s Support For Israel Found Wanting By Many Voters,”The Hill, 3/4/13)

A Recent The Hill Poll Found That “Three Times As Many Voters Believe The Obama Administration Is Not Supportive Enough Of Israel As Believe It Is Too Supportive.” “Three times as many voters believe the Obama administration is not supportive enough of Israel as believe it is too supportive, according to a new poll for the Hill. The proportion of voters who now say the president does not give strong enough backing to Israel is higher than it was in each of three similar surveys conducted for The Hill since May 2011. Correspondingly, fewer voters now find the White House’s policy excessively supportive of Israel.” (Lara Seligman, “Hill Poll: President’s Support For Israel Found Wanting By Many Voters,” The Hill, 3/4/13)

  • "A Full 39 Percent Said Obama Is Not Supportive Enough, The Highest Percentage The Hill Poll Has Seen." “According to the latest Hill Poll, just 13 percent of respondents say the president’s policy toward Israel is too supportive. A full 39 percent said Obama is not supportive enough, the highest percentage The Hill Poll has seen. Over the past two years, recent surveys for The Hill show a fluctuating number of voters who believe the president needs to express stronger support of Israel. In a poll for The Hill conducted in May 2011, 27 percent of voters said Obama was too supportive toward Israel, while 31 percent said he was not supportive enough.” (Lara Seligman, “Hill Poll: President’s Support For Israel Found Wanting By Many Voters,” The Hill, 3/4/13)
  • The Percentage Of Voters Who Believe Obama Is “Generally Anti-Israel” Remained Slightly Larger Than The Percentage Of Those Who Believe He Is Pro-Israel. “Meanwhile, in the most recent survey for The Hill, a slightly larger percentage of likely voters say Obama is generally anti-Israel than say he is pro-Israel, 30 percent to 28 percent. The percentage of voters who label Obama as pro-Israel is up slightly from a September 2011 survey for The Hill, as is the number of voters who say Obama is anti-Israel. Overall though, the data hasn’t changed much since 2011. In the September survey, 23 percent dubbed Obama pro-Israel, while 29 percent said the president was anti-Israel. In the most recent survey, 29 percent of likely voters said Obama is neither, which is a somewhat smaller figure than the 38 percent of voters who gave that answer in 2011.” (Lara Seligman, “Hill Poll: President’s Support For Israel Found Wanting By Many Voters,” The Hill, 3/4/13)

The Poll’s Results “Underline The American Public’s Concern About Obama’s Policy On The Jewish State At A Time Of Heightened Fears About Iran’s Nuclear Program.” “These findings underline the American public’s concern about Obama’s policy on the Jewish state at a time of heightened fears about Iran’s nuclear program. Israel has insisted that Iran must be stopped by any means necessary, including a military strike, from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The Obama administration has expressed its preference for a diplomatic solution, a posture that pro-Israel critics say is insufficiently muscular.” (Lara Seligman, “Hill Poll: President’s Support For Israel Found Wanting By Many Voters,”The Hill, 3/4/13)

Recent Surveys Also Showed That Voters Believe The U.S. Is Less Respected Internationally Under Obama

Overall, More Voters Now Believe That Obama Has Damaged U.S. Standing In The World, A Reversal From 2011 When 47 Percent Of Voters Believed He Had Improved The U.S. Image Abroad . “As Obama embarks on a second-term push to secure his place in history, the president is no doubt thinking about his global reputation. But according to a comparison of two recent surveys for The Hill, fewer voters now believe Obama has improved the United States’ standing in the world. In May 2011, 47 percent said Obama had improved the country’s standing, while 38 percent said Obama damaged the nation’s reputation. But in the Hill Poll’s most recent survey, just 37 percent said the United States is more respected internationally than it was prior to Obama taking office, while a full 43 percent said the country is less respected in the world.” (Lara Seligman, “Hill Poll: President’s Support For Israel Found Wanting By Many Voters,”The Hill, 3/4/13)

White House Adviser Gene Sperling: We Did Put Forward The Framework Of Sequester

This Morning, White House Adviser Gene Sperling Admitted That The Obama White House Had Proposed The Framework Of The Sequester.NBC’s DAVID GREGORY: “Back in October, the president staked out some very clear ground in the presidential debate against Mitt Romney. Here’s what he said.” OBAMA: “First of all, the sequester is not something that I proposed. It’s something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen. The budget that we’re talking about is not reducing our military spending. It’s maintaining it.” GREGORY: “The White House has acknowledged that’s not accurate. The president did propose this. He didn’t want it to become law, and Republicans supported it, but it was the White House’s idea. He said there unequivocally it will not happen, and yet it’s happened. Is there some responsibility he bears for that?” WHITE HOUSE ADVISER GENE SPERLING: “David, Jonathan Chase of New York Magazine, you know, gave the following analogy. A mugger comes up to you and says, give me your wallet. You say, I don’t have my wallet but here’s my watch. Well, technically, giving your watch was your idea, but it doesn’t really tell the whole story. We know, everyone knows, that the president wanted an enforcement mechanism that included revenues on the most well off. The speaker insisted, the Republicans insisted that, it just be an enforcement mechanism that be on all spending cuts. Because we were forced to do, that it is true we suggested going back to the Graham Ruddman Hollings mechanism –” GREGORY: “That’s not what he said in the debate, he said I didn’t propose it.” SPERLING: “I think it’s most accurate that they did propose an all-spending cut mechanism that would have this type of harmful impacts on defense and on education and research. And the idea — and this is the critical part, the idea was not that these would go into effect but that people of good faith would come back and compromise. And we know that that is what’s important. Republicans aren’t getting a win by letting the sequester go into effect. They want more funding for border security. They say they want more funding for defense. The speaker says he wants more on long-term entitlement reform. This gets nothing. It gets long-term entitlement – ” GREGORY: “Was the president right or wrong in that clip that I just showed you?” SPERLING:  “I think the president was overall right in that the idea of an across the board all spending cut was the idea of Republicans. But, yes, we put forth the design of how to do that.”  GREGORY: “Which was the sequester.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press ,” 3/3/13)