Senior Republican members of Congress confirmed Sunday that the Obama administration changed CIA guidance to senior officials that had identified the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi as an al Qaeda attack.
“The intelligence community had it right, and they had it right early,” said chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.).
The CIA “talking points” on Benghazi initially identified the attackers as al Qaeda or al Qaeda-linked terrorists but senior administration officials removed the reference, Rogers said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Meanwhile, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters traveling with the president on Saturday that the White House made only minor changes in the first comments by a White House official on the Benghazi security scandal.
“We were provided with points by the intelligence community that represented their assessment,” Rhodes said on Air Force One en route to Asia. “The only edit made by the White House was the factual edit about how to refer to the facility.”
Rhodes insisted that the word “consulate” was changed to “diplomatic facility” to reflect the fact that the compound was not involved in traditional consular activities.
“Other than that, we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community,” he said. “So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made.”
Rogers said the talking points were reviewed by a “deputies committee” of senior officials that is “populated by appointees from the administration. That’s where the narrative changed.”
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