The White House on Tuesday dismissed the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s report, saying the two-year investigation was nothing more than an effort to take down Hillary Clinton.
"This was a $7 million effort, funded by tax payers, to do what the would be speaker of the house says was their goal, which was to tear down secretary Clinton’s poll numbers. So that was their goal, it remains to be seen if that’s what they accomplish," Earnest said.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s comment last year suggesting the committee’s work was bringing down Clinton’s poll numbers was slammed by fellow Republicans as just plain “wrong.”
The report found that politics and bureaucracy delayed the response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which was a result of terrorism—not a YouTube video. But Earnest disagreed with those findings and said the administration’s response was not politically motivated, pointing the blame instead at Republicans.
"The variety of conspiracy theories that have been flowering on the Republican side of the aisle are politically motivated fantasies. And it's unfortunate that the death of four Americans would be subject to that kind of political fantasizing," Earnest said.
One of the damning findings in the report, however, showed that combat Marines were ordered in and out of uniform four times before they launched their rescue effort because the State Department feared it would like the U.S. was invading Libya. Moreover, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, wrote an email to high-level administration officials ahead of Susan Rice’s appearance on the Sunday shows stating that some of the goals should be "to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video and not a broader failure of policy” and “to reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges."
Earnest can argue all he wants that the administration's response was not politically motivated, but the facts state otherwise.