The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday that the New York Times investigative report into the Benghazi attacks is “not accurate.”
Questioned by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Republican Rep. Mike Rogers dismissed the findings in the New York Times story “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi.”
The story contradicts what Republicans on Capitol Hill say they have learned from their investigations. The New York Times reports that al-Qaida was not involved in the 2012 attacks in Libya and the attacks were partly motivated by an anti-Islam video.
“I don’t know it was an exhaustive investigation,” Rogers said of the New York Times report. “We have gone through some 4,000 different classified cables leading up to the event, talked to people on the ground during the event, done the postmortem on the event through the committee investigation.”
Asked what the paper got wrong, Rogers responded: “That al-Qaida was not involved in this.”
“There was some level of preplanning,” he said. “We know that. There was aspiration to conduct an attack by al-Qaida and their affiliates in Libya. We know that. The individuals on the ground talked about a planned tactical movement on the compound even — this is the compound before they went to the annex. All of that would directly contradict what The New York Times definitely says was an exhaustive investigation [and] tells me they didn’t talk to people on the ground who were doing the fighting, the shooting and the intelligence gathering.”
Rogers added: “When you put that volume of information, I think it proves that that story’s just not accurate.”
Four Americans died in the Benghazi attacks of 2012, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Republicans have been been holding hearings to look into whether the Obama administration could have done more to prevent the attacks, and whether they attempted to cover up their failures.
Wallace asked Rogers is he thinks “there is a political motivation to this Times report?”
“Some people have suggested, well, this is trying to clear the deck for Hillary Clinton in 2016,” Wallace said.
Rogers said he didn’t know but added, “I find the timing odd.”