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Sharyl Attkisson Rehashes Benghazi Email That Suggests Clinton Made Moves To Ensure A Clean 2016 Run

AP Photo/Richard Drew

Our friends at Twitchy posted about it first, but a new email has dropped concerning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s actions after the 2012 Benghazi terror attack that led to three deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. It occurred in September of 2012, weeks away from the election. The Obama White House’s rallying cry was that al-Qaeda was on the run. They were wrong. The Obama administration said this attack was a “spontaneous” reaction to a YouTube video released months prior to the attack. It was a lie. Judicial Watch has been hell on wheels regarding their fight for disclosure about this incident and many more under the Obama administration with their FOIA requests and countless lawsuits for documents to be released. The revelation that the Obama administration scrubbed talking points only added to the intrigue that there was some sort of cover-up in the weeks leading up to a critical election for then-President Obama. 


The email Judicial Watch obtained was sent by Jacob Sullivan, Clinton’s then-deputy chief of staff and senior adviser, to the former first lady’s address 18 days after the attack. Then-Chief of Staff Cheryl Mill was cc’d on the exchange. Again, I know some of you already knew what was up with the previous disclosures from this horrific attack, but more information is leeching out. 

Veteran investigative report Sharyl Attkisson wrote about the email, though it was released in October. Still, given the recent Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuses during the 2016 election, this communication once again re-shines a light into the intelligence community’s shoddy record as of late (via Sharyl Attkisson):

It’s been five years since the State Department first uncovered some previously hidden Hillary Clinton emails from her time as Secretary of State, and new information continues to surface.

The email calls into question the credibility of the intelligence community’s initial assessments of the Benghazi attacks.

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch recently released an email written to Clinton in 2012 after the deadly Islamic extremist terrorist attacks of Americans in Benghazi, Libya. The Obama administration initially falsely blamed the attacks on a “spontaneous” mob motivated by an anti-Muslim video. The email was written by Clinton aide Jake Sullivan. It discusses the administration’s controversial Benghazi “talking points.”


The email from Sullivan to Clinton is dated September 29, 2012, eighteen days after the attacks. It refers to the controversy over Obama official Susan Rice, who had appeared on TV network Sunday talk shows presenting the incorrect talking points that blamed a “spontaneous” mob. Based on the email, it appears as though someone had asked, on Clinton’s behalf, to answer the accusation that “Susan” had “made things up.” It also seems to imply that Clinton knew “the real story” (the terrorist nature of the attacks) from the start– although she immediately blamed the anti-Muslim video in a meeting with victims’ family members.’’

Sullivan blames the Intelligence Community for providing the incorrect information blaming the video, and says they were “unanimous” about it.


Twitchy captured some of the reactions, with one person saying that Clinton’s actions alluded to in the email suggest the former first lady was trying to clear a path for a clean 2016 run without Benghazi being in the mix. Not the case. We got something better: allegations that she mishandled classified information by having an unsecured and unauthorized homebrew server from which all her official business was conducted at the State Department. And she lied about State saying it was ok to have such a system. Every talking point she offered was eviscerated by the press until she stopped doing press conferences altogether. She wiped those away, like what you would do with a cloth. So, in the end, Clinton didn’t have a clean run. The irony is that Benghazi was the least of her worries during that election.


While inaccuracy is bad of course, the abuse concerning the FBI’s actions concerning obtaining a FISA spy warrant against former Trump campaign official is the latest stain on the IC. Someone at the FBI excluded or omitted key exculpatory information on Page, an offense that Inspector General Michael Horowitz said was systemic from the supervisory-level on down. Someone should be fired, but that won’t happen. At the same time, let’s see what Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham reveal when their Russia collusion origins probe is released. 

Copy of the Clinton email:

From: Sullivan, Jacob J

Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2012 11 :09 AM

To: ‘‘ <hdr22@clintonemail.cont>

Cc: Mills, Cheryl D

Subject: Key points

HRC, Cheryl –

Below is my stab at tp’s for the Senator call. Cheryl, I’ve left the last point blank for you. These are rough but you get the point.

I look forward to sitting down and having a Hillary~to-John conversation about what we know. l know you were frustrated by the briefing we did and I’m sorry our hands were tied in that setting.

It’s important we see each other in person, but over the phone today I just wanted to make a few points.

First, we have been taking this deadly seriously, as we should. I set up the ARB in record time, with serious people on it. l will get to the bottom of all the security questions. We are also in overdrive working to track down the killers, and not just through the FBI. We will get this right.

Second, the White House and Susan were not making things up. They were going with what they were told by the IC [Intelligence community].

The real story may have been obvious to you from the start (and indeed I called it an assault by heavily armed militants in my first statement), but the IC gave us very different information. They were unanimous about it.

Let me read you an email from the day before Susan went on the shows. It provides the talking points for HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and for her public appearance. It’s from a very senior official at CIA, copying his counterparts at DNI [Director of National Intelligence], NCTC [National Counterterrorism Center], and FBI:

Here are the talking points …

–The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.

-This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.

–The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths US citizens.

That is exactly what Susan said, following the guidance from the IC. She obviously got bad advice. But she was not shading the truth.

Third, you have to remember that the video WAS important. We had four embassies breached because of protests inspired by it. Cairo, Tunis, Khartoum, and Sanaa. We had serious security challenges in Pakistan and Chennai and some other places. All this was happening at the same time. So many of the contemporaneous comments about the video weren’t referring in any way to Benghazi. Now of course even in those countries it was about much much more than the video, but the video was certainly a piece of it one we felt we had to speak to so that our allies in those countries would back us up.


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