In a disastrous press briefing that further called into question the veracity of the administration’s claims about what it knew about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last year vs. what it told the public, Carney accused Congressional Republicans of politicizing the Benghazi scandal and denied that the White House had anything to do with the changes that were made to U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice’s talking points on Benghazi.
“There is the discussion about, you know, the Republicans again, and this ongoing effort that began hours of the attacks when Mitt Romney put out a press release to try to take political advantage out of these deaths, or out of the attack in Benghazi, and, in a move that was maligned even by members of his own party,” Carney said during the briefing. “And from that day forward, there has been this effort to politicize it.”
He also argued that the 12 revisions made to the Benghazi talking points, as reported by ABC News earlier Friday, were not substantive – adding, however, that his previous claim that they were merely “stylistic” was not the best way to describe the changes. He contended that the WH requested that only a few words be changed such as the word “consultate,” which was modified to “diplomatic facility.”
“There was a process leading up to that from a variety of agencies, as is always the case and is always appropriate,” Carney said.”The overriding concern of everyone involved is that we’re not giving to people who speak in public information that can’t be confirmed.”
“The concern was the points not provide information that was speculative,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Obama tried to distract the mainstream media from Benghazi by holding a White House rally over the so-called benefits of his Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, at which he once again accused Republicans of spreading “misinformation” about his healthcare reform bill.
“Obviously, there is still a lot of political bickering over this law,” Obama said during the rally. ” The same folks who fought tooth and nail four years ago and tried to make political hay out of Obamacare, they’re still telling tall tales about its impact.”
Obama’s healthcare event – which was perhaps uncoincidentally announced this morning after ABC aired its story on the leaked emails – didn’t do much to distract reporters from the Benghazi scandal, however. The White House Press Secretary was bombarded with questions about Benghazi and the IRS’s admission today that it purposefully targeted conservative organizations for more thorough document reviews last year.
The procession of Carney’s press conference today was a complete and utter train wreck, as he only made the controversy surrounding a potential cover-up of Benghazi by the White House even bigger.
To make matters worse, Carney pushed back his daily press briefing twice Friday in order to hold an off-the-record briefing with reporters on Benghazi that was accidentally leaked to POLITICO. The off-the-record briefing became an added source of conflict between Carney and the members of the White House Press Corps that were not invited to the meeting during Carney’s daily, public briefing. And just as the briefing concluded, The Blaze reported that an attorney for one of the Benghazi whistleblowers who testified earlier this week has additional whistleblowers on hand who want to come forward and testify as well.
The White House is undoubtedly thanking God it’s Friday right now.