(Jonathon M. Seidl) The talking points used by Amb. Susan Rice on the Sunday shows on the weekend after the 9/11/12 terror attack in Benghazi underwent at least 12 edits – including revisions by the Obama administration’s State Department — new emails obtained by ABC News show. Those revisions included scrubbing all references to an Al Qaeda-affiliated group and all references to previous CIA warnings about a terror threat.
When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.
ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk showsthe Sunday after that attack.
White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.
ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl said on Friday morning that the talking points were “dramatically edited by the administration” and that State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland played a major role in them.