CNN was able to obtain an internal White House email about Benghazi that seemingly contradicts the previous leaks from internal communications.
Since the hearings on Benghazi, the news media has reported that the White House deliberately aligned with the State Department and its desire to edit the talking points to remove any references to warnings about terrorist threats in Libya. The email, however, contradicts the notion of a White House cover up as quotes from the leaked email were strewn out of context and misinterpreted.
The actual email, from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes to President Obama and other advisors, reads:
Sorry to be late to this discussion. We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.
There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed. Insofar as we have firmed up assessments that don’t compromise intel or the investigation, we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression.
We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.
This email was supposedly “leaked” to the public along with other out-of-context quotes to create the impression that the White House was specifically interested in the State Department’s desire to edit out CIA warnings.
ABC News, for example, published that the email said, “We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation. We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting.” The Weekly Standard, too, alleged that in this same email, Rhodes expressed he specifically wanted to consider State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland’s concerns about the talking points at the meeting, which blatantly misconstrued the actual text of this so-called “controversial” email.
Read the email obtained by CNN here.