President Obama appointed Susan Rice as Chief National Security Adviser on Wednesday, attracting renewed scrutiny to the administration’s handling of the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the death of ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.
Fox News’ Senior White House correspondent Ed Henry brought up the scandal and General Petraeus’ conclusions that the assessments of the Intelligence Committee on the issue changed so much and were no longer worth anything.
Press Sectary Jay Carney tried to slap down the comment.
“In every iteration of this, Ambassador Rice made clear as I did that, these were early assessments that were certain to change as we obtained more facts, and to suggest otherwise is just irresponsible,” Carney said.
Rice controversially claimed after September 11 that the attack in Benghazi was motivated by anger over a video titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’ that was critical of Islam. Officials backed off the claim after a short period.
A release of emails to Congress revealed backroom efforts of the administration to downplay the role of Al Qaeda in the attack and Rice’s efforts to target the backlash of the failed policy on a video made in California.
Results from a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll indicate an increasing public distrust in the Obama administration — 58 percent of respondents believe that the State Department’s handling of the attack raises doubts about the overall integrity and honesty of the administration.