A newly-released email sent between top aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama reveal that the two leaders were engaged in a late-night call on the night of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
The Washington Examiner reported:
While the content of whatever Rhodes proposed for release was redacted, it was labeled a “readout of President’s call to Secretary Clinton.”
The email confirms a late-night call between Obama and Clinton did take place the night of the attack.
The new records were so heavily redacted that, because the documents contained email chains that produced duplicates, information was withheld in some emails that was disclosed in identical versions of others.
The email was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch. Its discovery sheds new light on how the White House and the State Department worked together in its media strategy in the days following the attack.
While it had been previously disclosed that Clinton and Obama spoke that night, the documents provide additional details about the timing of the call, which occurred after the initial attack on the consulate, but before the second wave of attacks when mortars hit the nearby CIA annex, killing two former Navy SEALs.
As CBS News reported, a key State Department counter-terrorism task force known as the CSG (Counterterrorism Security Group) was not convened the night of the Benghazi terrorist attack on a diplomatic compound on September 11th, 2012.
CBS also reported in a separate article that the in extremis force dedicated to quick reaction to emergencies was an hour’s flying time away from Benghazi in Italy, but did not arrive on scene until after the 10-hour-long attack was over.
A military and State Department talking point that a rescue operation was “impractical” due to lack of Libyan flyover authority was proven false when it came out that no such request was even made that night.
Other emails, Fox News reported, reveal that Clinton had made a statement that night citing an anti-Islamic Internet video before the attack ended.
Gregory Hicks, the number two diplomat in Libya behind Christopher J. Stevens, said on the Congressional record that no ever mentioned an anti-Islamic video in diplomatic communications in Libya the night of the raid, and he was “stunned” that a video was being blamed for the terror attack.
The State Department, and Clinton in particular, have come under scrutiny for their response to the attack in the hours and days that followed. Several former State Department officials, including Clinton, have been asked to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi later this year.
Editor’s note: This article was edited after publication.