"Dude, This Was Like Two Years Ago": Fmr. WH Spox to Baier on Benghazi
It was a contentious interview on last night’s Special Report between anchor Bret Baier and Tommy Vietor, the former spokesman for the National Security Council during the Obama administration.
Vietor sat down with Baier to discuss the latest developments on Benghazi. He was at the White House on the night of the September 11, 2012 attack. In the days and weeks after the deadly attack, the Obama administration falsely blamed protests sparked by an anti-Islamic video.
Baier asked Vietor if he changed the word “attacks” to “demonstrations” in the CIA’s talking points on Benghazi.
“Dude, this was like two years ago,” Vietor responded, adding that he didn’t remember.
Through a Freedom of Information Act request, documents on Benghazi were recently released, including a White House email showing top advisers prepped then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has maintained that the email was talking about protests in the region, despite the request specifically asking for Benghazi documents.
“Isn’t it ridiculous that this particular email did not get released originally? Why did it take a FOIA and a judge to get this Ben Rhodes email?” Baier asked Vietor.
Retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell, who was serving at AFRICOM headquarters in Germany that night, testified in a congressional hearing on Thursday that hours after the attack, they believed an Al Qaeda-affiliated group was responsible.
Vietor pushed back on Lovell’s testimony. He told Baier, “Respectfully to the general, that’s just not accurate. There’s no way anyone knew definitively the motivations of the attackers that evening.”
He said that even today, people affiliated with the terror group Ansar al-Sharia have told reporters they were at the consulate in Benghazi because they were upset about an anti-Islamic video.
Baier questioned Vietor on that narrative, seeing as the military and the CIA have since stated that the attack did not stem from protests.
“You make good points,” Vietor said. “I am not saying that this was a peaceful protest run amok. That was dead wrong. We got that wrong and I don’t know how we got it so wrong, but we got it wrong and we’ve corrected it since. What I’m saying is people on the scene that night, individuals involved in the attack said they were there because they were upset about the video.”
Watch the full Special Report interview above for more. Then, tune in to a Fox News Reporting special, Benghazi: White House Cover-Up Revealed?, hosted by Bret Baier tonight at 9p ET.