Benghazi E-Mails Put White House on the Defensive
WASHINGTON — A long-simmering dispute over the White House’s account of the deadly assault on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, flared up on Friday, with a disclosure of e-mails that show the White House was more deeply involved in revising talking points about the attack than officials have previously acknowledged.
The e-mails, which the administration turned over to Congress, show the White House coordinating an intensive process with the State Department, the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and other agencies to obtain the final version of the talking points, used by Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, in television appearances after the attack. The State Department, in particular, pushed to remove references to Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, the Libyan militant group suspected of carrying out the attack as well as warnings about other potential terrorist threats from the C.I.A., which drafted the initial talking points.