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Senior Obama Advisor Dan Pfeiffer: President’s location on night of Benghazi attack is “a largely irrelevant fact”

Dan PfeifferDoes it matter where President Obama was during the night of the Benghazi attack? Not according to Dan Pfeiffer, Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications.

Pfeiffer made the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows this week, mostly answering questions about the Internal Revenue Service scandal. But during his interview on “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked Pfeiffer to provide more details about the President’s whereabouts on Sept. 11, 2012 — something Pfeiffer apparently couldn’t or wouldn’t do, despite overseeing all communications for the President.

“I don’t remember what room the President was in on that night,” he said during a heated exchange with Wallace. “That’s a largely irrelevant fact.”

Things first got dicey during the interview when Wallace pressed Pfeiffer for more information about that night, asking about just how involved the President was and how he was informed about the attack throughout the night. Pfeiffer responded that the President was “kept up to date,” but that wasn’t a good enough answer for Wallace.

The host again pushed to know just who exactly Obama was talking to — since it was reported that he had limited contact with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.

“He was talking to his national security staff, his national security council — are the people who keep him up to date about these things as they happen,” Pfeiffer responded.

“Was he in the Situation Room?” Wallace asked.

“He was kept up to date throughout the day,” the senior advisor responded.

“Do you not know whether he was in the Situation Room?” Wallace queried incredulously.

Pfeiffer then asserted that the President’s location was “irrelevant” and grew more heated, accusing Wallace of implying that the attack would have had a different outcome if the President had taken different action. The advisor was visibly flustered, despite the fact that he’s the President’s number one communications man. Pfeiffer called that line of reasoning “offensive.”

“I’m simply asking a question,” Wallace explained. “Where was he? What did he do? How did he respond? Who told him you can’t deploy forces and what was his response to that?”

“As I said to you, the President was in the White House that day,” Pfeiffer asserted again. “He was kept up to date by his national security team. He spoke to Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs earlier, Secretary of State later, and as events unfolded, he was kept up to date.”


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