White House spokesman Jay Carney postponed the daily briefing amid bombshell revelations about the administration’s role in modifying CIA talking points on the Benghazi attack, and instead held a “deep background” briefing behind closed doors for selected reporters, according to Politico.
Journalists at the meeting were permitted to use information presented by briefers, but not quote them directly, Politico reported.
The secret session came one day after the White House announced a new plan for sharing federal data, and a few hours after ABC corroborated a report by The Weekly Standard showing that administration officials quickly rewrote an intelligence report to hide the administration’s failure to protect the diplomatic site.
The attack was launched by jihadis on the 11th anniversary of the 2001 attack in New York. It killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya.
So far, White House officials have denied any significant role in rewriting the intelligence reports.
“The only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and non-substantive,” Carney claimed May 7.
“They corrected the description of the building or the facility in Benghazi from ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ and the like,” he claimed.
The off-the-record “meeting began around 12:45 p.m. and postponed the daily, on-the-record White House press briefing to 1:45 p.m.,” Politico reported.