During a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, President Obama accused some "folks" of creating a "sideshow" and a "political circus" out of the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi (video below).
While Obama did not state it was the Republicans doing this, the GOP has been accusing the Obama administration of "cover-ups" and "conspiracies" for months over the Benghazi attack.
Obama also said the 12 edits to “talking points” that were used by U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice following the attacks had become a “sideshow.”
The 12 talking point edits (in U.S. government emails) were recently reported on by ABC News, but were released to Republicans months ago during an investigation.
Obama noted that three days after Rice said the Benghazi attacks were the result of an anti-Muslim video, National Counter-Terrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen told Congress that it had been a terrorist attack, per ThinkProgress.org.
“So if this was some effort on our part to try to downplay what had happened, to try to tamp it down, that would be a pretty odd thing three days later we end up putting out all the information that, in fact, has now served as the basis for everybody recognizing that this was a terrorist attack and that it may have included elements that were planned by extremists inside of Libya,” Obama said. “Who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down for three days? So the whole thing defies logic.”
"The fact that this keeps on getting churned out, frankly has a lot to do with political motivations. We’ve had folks who have challenged Hillary Clinton’s integrity, Susan Rice’s integrity, Mike Mullen and Tom Pickering’s integrity. It’s a given that mine gets challenged by these same folks. they’ve used it for fundraising and frankly, you know, if anybody out there wants to actually focus on how we make sure something like this does not happen again? I am happy to get their advice and information and council."
“We’ve got a whole bunch of people in the State Department who consistently say, ‘You know what, I’m willing to step up, I’m willing to put myself in harm’s way because I think this mission is important in terms of serving the United States and advancing our interests around the globe... And so we dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus,” added Obama.