Fox News contributor Brit Hume grilled former California Democratic lawmaker Jane Harman over her denial of a Benghazi cover-up, calling the White House’s initial talking points “monumentally misleading” and challenging Harman to describe which office or individual altered the attack’s storyline.
Hume appeared on a Fox News Sunday panel alongside Harman to discuss Benghazi, which exploded again last week after documents revealed under court order showed deliberate and expressly political White House involvement in editing the talking points — facts the Obama administration had always denied.
Harman, who claimed to have met with senior intelligence officials soon after the attack, characterized the blow-up as nothing but a right wing conspiracy. “This was an intelligence failure,” she said. “It wasn’t a conspiracy. And there aren’t aliens in Area 51 and Vince Foster wasn’t murdered. And it’s time to move on and focus on the real problems in Libya and other problems that affect the voters.”
Brit Hume pushed back. “There wasn’t a conspiracy in the United States to mount the Benghazi attack,” he began. “That’s not the question. The question was whether in the aftermath of the attack, when the administration sent its U.N. ambassador out to explain it to everybody, and she did so falsely, that there wasn’t a conspiracy to create the false talking points that she used.”
“I’m not talking about the CIA talking points,” he continued. “I’m talking about the talking points used on that program that day, which were monumentally misleading and were — and have since been shown to be false and based on no intelligence of any consequence that we know of.”
“All right,” Harman responded. “And my answer to that is no, there wasn’t a conspiracy. They didn’t turn out to be accurate –”
“Well how’d it happen?” Hume interjected angrily. “Well how did it happen?”
“I think that people made, at the time, their best guess at the facts,” she continued.
“But wait a minute,” Hume continued. “Where did the idea that the video had anything to do with Benghazi come from?
“Where did it come from?” she returned. “I think it came from people who weren’t sure about it.”
“Well, can you identify anybody?” Hume challenged. “Can you identify any CIA information? Can you identify any source?”
“My view is, having been around at the time, that this was not deliberately misleading,” Harman concluded. “It turned out to be wrong, but it was not deliberately misleading.”
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