New e-mails in the days after the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack reveal that the Obama White House urged Susan Rice to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video” ahead of her controversial Sunday-show appearances.
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes providing Rice, as well as others on the e-mail, with a list of “goals” for handling the attacks. Two of them:
“To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”
“To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
He wrote that the president and administration “find [the video] disgusting and reprehensible,” but said that “there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this move with violence.”
Additionally, Rhodes recommended Rice herald President Obama ahead of the upcoming elections.
“I think that people have come to trust that President Obama provides leadership that is steady and statesmanlike,” Rhodes wrote. “There are always going to be challenges that emerge around the world, and time and again, he has shown that we can meet them.”
Rhodes’s communications follow the finalization of a set of “talking points” from the intelligence community, which came in for substantial revisions from the State Department.