Turns out the press got played again by Republicans. Jake Tapper has the smoking gun of the original email from the Obama administration which differs significantly from the “leaked emails” ABC ran with.
In an exclusive for CNN, Tapper reveals that CNN has the original email sent by a top Obama aide, regarding the administration’s reaction to the Benghazi attacks. Tapper reported, “The actual email differs from how sources characterized it to two different media organizations.”
“The actual email from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show thath womever (sic) leaked it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House primarily concerned with the State Department’s desire to remove references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not bring criticism to the department
,” Tapper concludes (my bold).
The email was sent on Friday, September 14, 2012, at 9:34 p.m. and was obtained by CNN from a U.S. government source. Ironically, the email points out that there is a “ton of wrong information” coming from Congress and people who are not particularly informed (waving hello to Congressional Republicans and Mitt Romney):
“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.”
Read the full email here
Tapper notes how ABC and the Weekly Standard covered the leaked emails, which were “paraphrased” “inaccurately” and “inventing the notion” that the White House tried to protect the State Department:
Whoever provided those quotes and paraphrases did so inaccurately, seemingly inventing the notion that Rhodes wanted the concerns of the State Department specifically addressed. Nuland, particularly, had expressed a desire to remove mentions of specific terrorist groups and CIA warnings about the increasingly dangerous assignment. Rhodes put no emphasis at all in his email on the State Department’s concerns.
Previous reporting also misquoted Rhodes as saying the group would work through the talking points at the deputies meeting on Saturday, September 15, when the talking points to Congress were finalized. While the previously written subject line of the email mentions talking points, Rhodes only addresses misinformation in a general sense.
Tapper condemned the leaker as having the agenda to make the White House look like they were protecting the State Department.
Benghazi Bombshell: Leaked Emails Were Edited to Make Obama Look Bad