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Cummings Reacts to Boehner’s Statement on State Department Email

May 9, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement regarding Speaker Boehner’s statement that he learned at yesterday’s hearing on Benghazi about a September 12, 2012, email in which senior State Department officials stated that they had told Libyan officials that the attacks in Benghazi were conducted by Ansar al-Sharia:     

“‘Old news’ is an understatement—maybe Speaker Boehner just didn’t realize that this exact same issue was already addressed last October.  The email refers to reports that Ansar al-Sharia took credit for the attacks in a Facebook posting, but shortly after the email was sent, the group publicly denied that it was involved in the attack.  Five different congressional committees have had access to this email for months, and now Republicans are trying to generate an entirely new controversy out of nothing.” 

In October, Secretary Clinton explained: “Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence.  I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters last October: “This was an open-source, unclassified email about a posting on a Facebook site.  I would also note I think that within a few hours, that organization itself claimed that it had not been responsible.  Neither should be taken as fact – that’s why there’s an investigation under way.”

The nation’s top intelligence official, General James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, testified before Congress that the assessment provided by the Intelligence Community was “our collective best judgment at the time.”

 

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113th Congress