Administration Memo in Sept. 2012: How To Deal With Fox News Benghazi Revelations

The email is being withheld by the State Department

In another example of the Obama Administration caring more about shaping the Benghazi message than getting to the bottom of what happened during the terrorist attack, Fox News' Catherine Herridge discovered there was an email circulated to high-level administration people soon after the attack  (9/27-9/28/2012), with a subject line of "“Fox News: US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm." 

The seven page-long email, whose purpose was to suggest coming up with a media strategy to deal with the Fox report, is being withheld by the State Department, which is stating the email meets the guidelines for executive privilege because it contains executive branch deliberations.

On the email chain, among others, Denis McDonough, the president’s deputy national security adviser during Benghazi, John Brennan former White House counter terrorism adviser and now CIA Director, then deputy director of the CIA Michael Morell, and presidential aide Ben Rhodes who sent the email on September 14, 2012, critics say, attempted to shape the public discussion of Benghazi.

Chris Farrell, with Judicial Watch, which is suing for the documents, including the email related to the Fox News report, said “A 7-page dialog concerning one Fox News report to me demonstrates an alarm bell situation where they are reacting to and trying to shape a response or commentary to react to or to shut down reporting.”

“The reporting itself would appear to be at odds or at least to challenge strongly the White House position that had been announced. And so this report from Fox News would run counter to what the Obama administration was attempting to put out there as their position.”

 

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