Republicans pressing WH for Benghazi answers
A picture shows a burnt building at the US consulate compound in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on September 13, 2012 following an attack late on September 11 in which the US ambassador to Libya and three other US nationals were killed. Libya said it has made arrests and opened a probe into the attack, amid speculation that Al-Qaeda rather than a frenzied mob was to blame. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/GettyImages)
March 21st, 2013
04:50 PM ET
5 years ago

Republicans pressing WH for Benghazi answers

Washington (CNN) – In a sign Congressional Republicans intend to keep political pressure on the administration over Benghazi, House Speaker John Boehner convened a meeting Thursday morning to discuss last year's attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya with key House committee chairmen and several GOP Senators who have been critical of the administration's handling of the incident.

Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference that there are "some members who wanted to have a conversation, kinda compare notes on what we know and what we don't know and frankly there is a lot we still don't know, and so it was a friendly exchange of information and some decisions about a way forward."

The attack, which occurred on September 11, 2012, killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

Pressed on what additional information Republicans on the Hill were seeking, Boehner said, "I think on what happened prior to September 11th, what actually happened on September 11th and then why it was described for weeks after as something that it wasn't, when the people who were watching this knew it was a terrorist attack."

A senior House GOP aide told CNN the purpose of the meeting was for committee leaders to "lay out what they know and figure out what questions still exist."

"What are they still looking for and what are they hearing from their members?" the aide added.

This aide said there are "some members who feel they don't have all the answers they want."

The issues outlined by Boehner were the subject of several congressional hearings at the end of 2012 and the beginning of this year that included testimony from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Many Republicans, including Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, were among those GOP members in the meeting with Boehner. They continue to say they're not satisfied with the answers provided in a report on the attack conducted by an independent review board, or with how top officials in the Obama administration reacted to the event.

The controversy over the lack of adequate security measures at the Libyan consulate and why the administration initially described the attack as a spontaneous demonstration–but then later acknowledged it was planned–has become a conservative cause célèbre. At a political conference last week outside Washington featuring speeches by top GOP party leaders, several speakers focused on the Benghazi issue and argued the president wasn't giving a full account of what happened.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, wasn't in the meeting led by Boehner, but told CNN on Thursday that Congress was still gathering information and believed the administration was cooperating.

"The only thing there is an issue about whether or not certain people need to be subpoenaed. If members of Congress need to get more information, and there's a pushback, we have the ability to do that. But from what I understand, we're getting the information that people are talking to us," Ruppersberger said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who chairs the Senate Intelligence panel told reporters Wednesday that her committee's own report was nearing completion, but was awaiting further input from Republican members.
"Our part of it is the intelligence. The majority has really, I think, knows what its findings are and are ready, and hopefully the minority shortly will have their additions and we'll able to get something out," Feinstein said.

- CNN's Ted Barrett and Paul Courson contributed to this report.

Filed under: House • John Boehner • Libya
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. rs

    The tragedy of Bengahzi stands. But really folks, is this the new Republican "home" spot when they have nothing else?Even funnier given we're at the 10th anniversary of the worst diplomatic/military disaster in American History- the one they perpetrated under former President G.W. Bush: the invasion of Iraq.
    Let that sink in a minute. The GOP's "go to" event in the Obama Administration on the anniversary of the death of 125,000 innocent Iraqis; the creation of 2 million Iraqi refugees; the deaths of 7,500 American soldiers and contractors; and the loss of $trillions. Really? Really guys? You want to talk Benghazi AGAIN?

    March 21, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |

    LOL. It hilarious watching the GOP tripping all over itself in its feeble attempt at creating a controversy where none exists. SOS Clinton stated it best: "What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from happening again." The GOP is hell bent on making Bengazi Obama's albatross but it ain't gonna happen. And by the way, where are the WMD that Dubya declared existed? Does the GOP really think we've forgotten about this? Get real!

    March 21, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    Leave Benghazi alone ! The Repubs. need to get to the bottom of the Vince Foster Murder & Hillary's role.

    March 21, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "In a sign Congressional Republicans intend to keep political pressure on the administration over Benghazi"

    In a sign Congressional Republicans are losing ground, running out of ideas and are desperate to try to fid some flimsy excuse for articles of impeachment...


    March 21, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Alan

    Okay, I've had enough with obstructionist minded, live in the past, unable to focus on the needs of the American public...I call for re-opening of the Watergate Hearings!...there must have been a cover up, who knows, it was probably congress who erased those 18 minutes of tapes from the White House, and after all, not only did the Republican party produce the FIRST AND ONLY US President who resigned from office, their Vice President turned out to be a cheater and a liar on his tax returns, Now take that McCain, and your minyon who must have gotten tired of their phony birther story because FOX Mis-Informed news wouldn't even bring it up any more, to continue to care how because CONGRESS CUTS to the Obama Budget led to a 'LEAN" approach to the Bengazhi embassy staff...and they couldn't hire Blackwater, or whomever they call them selfs now after murdering inocent Iraqis'...and give them bloated contracts like they had....shame shame on CNN too for even bothering to report anything more on this useless, non value added topic

    March 21, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Name VA865

    keep beating the dead horse.. Ok Gop

    March 21, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Jewels

    One has to wonder, if this were a push for intelligence on Iraq - and the legitimacy behind Bush and staff's motivation, would they be raising questions? I mean, there's only been thousands of lives lost after all.

    March 21, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Richard Miller

    Time to send all of these chicken hawks into harms about a fact finding mission to....Benghazi!

    March 21, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. PJ

    In the meantime, as shown by CNN Breaking News headlines, "initial US intelligence suggests Syria did not use
    chemical weapons......................"
    So, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, who demanded immediate action would have led us into another war
    without foundation, just like Bush & Co. did.
    But here they are, meeting with Weeper of the House, to demand more knowledge on Benghazi. And we
    should pay attention to them because???????????????????

    Also, in the meantime, President Obama received the highest honor Israel can give, called the
    Presidential Medal of Distinction. He is the first American President to ever receive this honor. But no
    story here either.
    But you waste no time reporting every little thing that is said against the President regarding Israel.
    Guess this was just not newsworthy enough for you. Certainly not as important as crazy Bachmann,
    or something Bill O'REally said on Fox.

    March 21, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Moose

    it was the video, and bill didnt cheat on hilly !!!! LOL

    March 21, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Stephen in VA

    Sure is a good thing these Republicans worked so hard to push for the truth of what happened in Iraq....

    Oh, wait, no–that was a white Republican President that was behind Iraq.

    March 21, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. GOP = Greed Over People

    If only the GOP had quizzed the shrub and dick administration as aggressively about the deaths of 4,500 Americans, as the GOP has quizzed President Obama's administration about the deaths of 4 Americans.

    Silly me, the GOP is more than willing to gain oil reserves, not to mention billions of no bid contracts to KBR, on the coffins of dead Americans.

    No lobbyist money was involved in the Bengahzi attack, therefore, no GOP gains.

    March 21, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. John in Brooklyn

    Non-issue. Only relevant to those within the Tea Party bubble and belt-way media. Yawn.

    March 21, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Andrew

    The GOP will gnaw this bone without meat because it's the only bone they've got.

    March 21, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. Pete

    Yah know these hypocrites have nothing to do when they go back to something supposidly ended like this Benghazi deal..If they're so hell bent on bringing up old news go back to the Reagan era and SOSGeorge Schultz and ask how come nothing was ever done or punished for the deaths of over 300 people in two seperate embassy bombings in Lebanon,Libya and a terrorist bombing of a marine barracks in Kuwait. Both houses were republican led and Reagan should've been impeached after he was caught selling serin gas to dictators Kadafi and Hussein plus illegal weapons that were with CIA operatives when their plane crashed loaded with it..Pres.Reagan said he didn't know of what transpired but later apoligized because he was caught through an independant investigation.No impeachments were ever allowed because if Reagan were impeached after Nixon there would never be another republican president and republicans now realize that..Plus throw in Bushs wars created with lies of WMDs that have killed over 5000 military men,women and thousands of Iraqi civilians,now quit being so racially motivated because that's all it is to deter from the truth that they're republican failures and they'll do it at the cost of Pres.Obama and Hillary Clinton..It doesn't get more dirtier than that does it republicans.Ask McCain to open up his military records sealed by his admiral father and you'll have something to scream about,a supposid hero who's actually the Saigon Songbird a traitor that was taken care of by the N Vietnamese and those injuries weren't from torture they're from crashing his jet into a rice party a result of running into his own missile flack,just check how he's lied for years and you'll see what a bum McCain really is!!

    March 21, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. The Clear Thinking Independent

    Memo to the GOP.

    These actions marignalize the Republican party. Most of us citizens don`t buy the GOP line that suggests that all things Obama administration are evil. We don`t believe that these GOP house members are more American, more patriotic than the Democrats.

    Until these House members disavow Cheney, Rumsfield, Bush, WMD`s, 6,000 dead US soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan, "Tax Cuts for Job Creators", etc., etc., they will not have ANY CREDIBILITY. Four deaths is a tragedy but 6,000 is incompetence & malpractice.

    March 21, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Ancient Texan

    The "most transparent administration in history" still stonewalling and covering up both "Fast and Furious" and the Benghazi tragedy. The truth will finally come out but after Obama leaves office. The Ambassador and aides begging for help days prior to the attacks and three times during the 8 hours of attacks and no help ever was sent. Sad.

    March 21, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Republicans/Tea Partiers are beating a dead horse. Their fake outrage and concern won't fool the American people. The only reason for keeping this non-issue alive is for political reasons. They need to move just makes them look bad. Wished they showed the same outrage and concern when Bush started an unnecessary war in Iraq based on lies.

    March 21, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. freedom

    Obama did NOTHING! Hilary says "What difference does it make?" These people don't deserve to be in the positions they're in – and don't honor the offices they hold. America and our troops deserve better! And where the hell is Patraeus? He knows everything that went down that night. We need to call the president before a Grand Jury – like Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.

    March 21, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. Dave

    Funny how the GOPers were never that "curious" about questioning Bush and Cheney about those WMDs.

    March 21, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. Free Man in the republic of Texas

    Answers on Benghazi ???

    "That" is OLD NEWS.

    WE stonewalled that one... L O N G ago...

    "I" TOLD you
    that WE have the most transparent administration in American history

    TRUST.... "ME"

    March 21, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  22. Marie MD

    Why don't we send the entire clown car to Benghazi. With any luck they won't return.
    I am amazed how the rethugs continue to beat a dead horse. They still don't get it do they?
    Is anyone blaming the entire shrub #43 administration for the thousands of lives lost on lies on a war that shouldn't have ever been part of our history? Not only didn't Iraq have WMDs but they made it easier for Iran and bin laden, before his death, to take control of areas that Saddam would have never allowed them.
    they are worse than petulant annoying kids!

    March 21, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. kayla

    andrew, i could not have said it any better, love it

    March 21, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. Steve S

    The GOP couldn't care less about Bengahzi, other than for political gain.
    Were was their concern when thousands of Americans came back in body bags from Iraq?

    March 21, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  25. American

    If only Republicans cared about the original 9/11 truth as much as this. Actual conspiracies whould have been exposed and we would not have invaded Iraq.

    March 21, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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