Well, we’re back to this again. During the late afternoon session of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Hillary said that the "Innocence of Muslims" video “played a role” in the attack. Yet, in the morning session, Clinton tried to say that she didn’t blame the video for the attack. Katie noted how this was patently false, given that President Obama and then-U.S. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, all blamed the video, despite no protests ever occurring in Libya over it; we even purchased $80,000 worth of airtime in Pakistan apologizing for it.
In the end, the video was not to blame. CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed the Egyptian-American filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who created the YouTube video in 2013. At the time, Tapper reported that he was recently released from prison after being sent back when a judge ruled that making "Innocence of Muslims" violated the terms of his parole from a previous bank fraud charge.
REP. JIM JORDAN: Look at the difference in these two statements. One says it wasn't a pre-planned attack, that's Jay Carney talking publicly; the other one says -- from your experts in Libya, says it was a well-planned attack.
Now they could not be further apart. They could not be. That's what the -- that's what I'm having a hard time figuring out.
And you know what's interesting? The date of this, 9/14/12, 9/14/12. You know what else happened on the 14th, September 14th? There's another document that's kind of important. That's the same day that Ben Rhodes drafted his talking points memo. Bullet point number 2 -- to underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, not a broader failure of policy, because we couldn't have Libya -- your baby, as Mr. Roskam pointed out earlier -- we couldn't have that fail, can't have that.
So the same day you got Jay Carney saying this was in no way a pre-planned attack and the experts in Libya talking, Greg Hickson and Near Eastern Affairs people are saying it was a well-planned attack, that same day, the talking points that get Susan Rice ready for the Sunday shows, make sure you focus on --
HILLARY CLINTON: Well Congressman --
JORDAN: Make sure you focus on the video, not about a broader policy failure. After all, we've got an election coming in 50-some days.
CLINTON: Well Congressman, I believe to this day the video played a role. I believe that the person we have --
JORDAN: But your experts --
CLINTON: There were many experts. If you look -- you probably haven't had an opportunity to read the excellent report issued by the Democrats -- but on September 13th, the intelligence community issued its first thorough, fully coordinated assessment of what happened in Benghazi. It said we assess the attacks on Tuesday against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi began spontaneously, the attacks began spontaneously following the protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo. Extremists with ties to al-Qaida were involved in the attacks.
There is no contradiction. The protest because of the video, bringing in those who were affiliated with al-Qaida --
JORDAN: Is there a contradiction -- is there a contradiction right here?
CLINTON: There is no contradiction, Congressman.
JORDAN: How about this contradiction. A well-planned attack, no pre-planned attack. How about that? One of them is well-planned, one of them isn't. Jay Carney said there was no pre-planned attack and the experts in Libya said it was a pre-planned attack.