Senior adviser to Obama for America and former White House official David Axelrod blew off criticisms from Republicans Sunday that the Obama administration’s storyline on the Libyan attack had been inconsistent, calling it “nonsense.”
Axelrod claimed the administration had shared everything it knew about the attacks “in real time” and Republicans’ attempts to portray the situation any differently are “disgreaceful.”
“Well, I think it’s nonsense,” Axelrod told “Meet the Press” host David Gregory. “Obviously, this was a tragic event, and the President did call it an act of terror – not just once, but several times – and asked for and ordered an investigation to get to the bottom of what happened, why it happened, and to bring those who committed this act of terror to justice.”
The Obama campaign adviser’s comments were in response to accusations levied by GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on a Milwaukee radio show Friday that the Obama administration’s “problem is their story continues to shift.”
“They fail to answer the basic questions about what happened. So his [Obama's] response has been inconsistent. It’s been misleading,” Ryan said. “And more than a month later, we still have more questions than answers.”
In turn, Axelrod again accused Ryan running mate Mitt Romney of trying to “exploit” the terrorist attack in Libya “from the beginning.”
“Even while the flames were burning in Benghazi Mitt Romney was sending out political press releases on this, and the whole Republican Party has followed,” Axelrod continued, characterizing House Oversight Committee chair Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) investigation into the communications failure between Intelligence, the State Department and the White House as an attempt “all to score political points in the final weeks before an election” at the risk of the persons on the ground in Libya working with the U.S. government.
“That’s disgraceful. The way they have handled this issue is disgraceful,” Axelrod said, underscoring the Obama campaign’s previous claims that the Libya attack is only under scrutiny because of the politicking of the Romney campaign.
When reminded by Gregory that the Obama administration had not, in fact, had a consistent response on the events leading up to the attack, Axelrod claimed that, “We have reported, the administration has reported everything that we’ve been told, and we’ve shared it in real time.
“The fact is, it’s a complicated situation, ” he said. “There’s been no inconsistency. There’s merely been reports on the data and the intelligence that we’ve been given.”
Given that Axelrod is no longer a member of the administration and no longer has security clearance at the point in which the high level decisions regarding Libya are occurring, his testament that the administration has told the American people everything it knows and in real time is extremely questionable.
Luckily, Americans will have the opportunity to hear directly from the President on this issue in Monday night’s debate, where he will hopefully clear up the confusion about the attack on Libya once and for all.