Politics

Chuck Todd, Laura Ingraham spar over White House press corps’ failure to ask tough questions on Libya

Photo of Jeff Poor
Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On her Tuesday radio program, syndicated conservative talker Laura Ingraham sparred with NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd over whether the White House press corps has held President Barack Obama sufficiently accountable for his handling of the Libya disaster.

Ingraham began by reminding Todd that U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice had incorrectly blamed a short anti-Islam YouTube video for the Sept. 11 attack on the embassy.

“I’ve been shocked we haven’t had a Hillary Clinton interview on this,” Todd said. “And … I never understood the Susan Rice thing, why her on this. … What doesn’t make sense to anybody, is how is it that five days later, they didn’t realize Benghazi was not a part of [the protests occurring throughout the Muslim world]?”

The White House press corps is largely responsible for the lack of answers on those questions, according to Ingraham.

“Four Americans are dead, the president has failed to do a press conference on this … you’re in that briefing room every day, and they send out Jay Carney every day, and meanwhile, the president has given interviews to ‘The Michael Yo! Show,’ has spent time with “The View,” has spent time in Vegas, spent time on the trail doing all these Hollywood events, and he does not have time to do a full-blown press conference on what happened when, and why the false narrative was sold, when four Americans are dead. And my question to you as one of the critical reporters — and we look to you, we really look to you for this — where is the outcry from the White House press corps, and the desire to answer these questions?”

“There is a ton of desire,” Todd replied. “The fact that the president hasn’t sat down with a member of the White House press corps for any extended interview for over a year is their business. It’s certainly is something that is not popular in the White House press room, if you will. But … let’s not pretend both sides aren’t playing a little politics here. Calling a hearing, when Congress isn’t in session. You think the intention was 100 percent to get to the bottom of this, or do you think there was some politics involved?”

“I know beating up on us is popular and it’s easy to do, [but] we ask these questions every single day,” Todd said.

Follow Jeff on Twitter