Benghazi Attack Fallout: Hillary vs the White House

Political junkies have long known that the relationship between the White House and Sec of State Hillary Clinton is far from great. I am actually surprised she’s held on this long— considering the vicious exchanges they both had (along with Bill) during the 2008 campaign.

Maybe all is forgiven in politics? Not really. Last year, the Hillary-Obama relationship reached a boiling point over the invasion of Libya. The Sec of State— who was pushing for military action— was not pleased with Obama’s lack of resolution on the issue:

Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind up…She’s exhausted, tired.

Fast forward to the Benghazi embassy attacks— where Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed— and we can again see the tension boiling.

In the aftermath of the attack, it quickly became clear that the initial White House narrative (“the Embassy was attacked because of an anti-Islam video”) was not correct. As more details emerged (multiple requests from the Embassy for increased security forces were denied), the issue turned into a political hot potato— sitting squarely on the President’s lap. And what does Obama do when he’s holding a hot potato? If you’re going to say he takes responsibility, well, you’re wrong. Instead, he throws it to someone else. In this case, the hot potato got thrown in Hillary’s face (around the 8:00 mark):

 

But if the White House thought Hillary was just going to roll over on this one, boy were they sorely mistaken.

Last week, the State Dept— for reasons unknown— decided to release an entire press briefing on the Libya attacks. And the released transcript is a treasure trove of information. First, it details the horrific events that transpired that day. But in the Q&A with reporters, State Dept officials had this interesting exchange:

OPERATOR: The next question is from the line of Brad Klapper with AP. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, yes. You described several incidents you had with groups of men, armed men. What in all of these events that you’ve described led officials to believe for the first several days that this was prompted by protests against the video?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: That is a question that you would have to ask others. That was not our conclusion [emphasis added]. I’m not saying that we had a conclusion, but we outlined what happened. The Ambassador walked guests out around 8:30 or so, there was no one on the street at approximately 9:40, then there was the noise and then we saw on the cameras the – a large number of armed men assaulting the compound.

Is it just me or was that the sound of a hot potato…crashing squarely on top of the President?

One thing is certain: no one messes with the Hillary. It’s clear she authorized the release of this transcript in order to shift the blame right back to the White House. What will happen from here is unclear but I have a feeling a lot more people will be thrown under the bus before election day. Not only does Obama have to worry about re-election but also, Hillary is expected to run for the White House in 2016. She will not want this Libya stain on her resume.

And let’s not forget that when you attack Hillary, Bill will come to her defense like a guard dog. And it seems he’s already doing just that:

…Bill Clinton has assembled an informal legal team to discuss how the Secretary of State should deal with the issue of being blamed for not preventing the Benghazi terrorist attack last month.

Boy, I can’t wait to see how this all plays out!


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