State Department denies link between YouTube video and Benghazi attack; freezes out Fox News

Facing a Congressional hearing Wednesday, the State Department on Tuesday sought to distance itself from the White House’s claim that protests over an anti-Muslim video led to the attack which killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others.

State Department officials briefed reporters on their timeline of the Sept. 11 attack via conference call but excluded Fox News.

Greta van Susteren posted “very rough notes” from the conference call to her blog, also noting that the State Department had left Fox News off of the conference call but adding that the department has since apologized.

Brit Hume came out swinging, noting a lack of media interest despite the “strong scent of cover-up.”

The Associated Press reports:

But asked about the administration’s initial – and since retracted – explanation linking the violence to protests over an anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet, one official said, “That was not our conclusion.” He called it a question for “others” to answer, without specifying. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter, and provided no evidence that might suggest a case of spontaneous violence or angry protests that went too far.

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice made the rounds of Sunday morning news shows Sept. 16 pushing the line that a YouTube video was to blame for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, even as Libya’s president was insisting it was a premeditated assault.

Later that week, the president himself continued to blame the video during appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The View.”

GOP chair Reince Priebus is asking the president for some answers on the Benghazi timeline — when he’s not so busy, that is.

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