In a radio interview today with host Michael Smerconish, President Obama repeated his assertion that he “was not personally aware of any request” for additional security in the lead-up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, ABC News is reporting.
The interview was given on the same day that news has emerged that SEAL officers hearing gunfire at the consulate were told to stand down rather than respond to requests for assistance.
Asked about the changing narrative around the events that took place in Libya, the president stuck with his story that the administration has given the American people the information that it had at the time and said he was frustrated by attempts to “politicize” the attack.
“What’s true is that the intelligence was coming in and evolving as more information came up,” the president replied. “And what is true, and this is something that the American people can take to the bank — is that my administration plays this stuff straight; we don’t play politics when it comes to American national security.”
He continued, saying that what “we have recently done throughout my presidency and what we did in this circumstance is as information came in we gave it to the American people and as we got new information we gave that to the American people. And that includes by the way members of American Congress, so one of the things that always frustrates me about this town is when people go out there and try to politicize issues despite knowing that we have given them all this information.”
Reaction on Twitter to the president’s remarks was fast and furious.
Those blaming Tapper for not following up should note again that the president’s comments were made not at a press briefing but as part of a syndicated radio interview. The president then headed to the White House for a 30-minute live MTV special called “Ask Obama Live: An Interview with the President.”
Audio of the entire interview is available on SoundCloud.