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
1 year 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. ghostriter

    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."

    This has gone beyond ridiculous. What the heck was the purpose of all those freaking hearings we already had? Now they are meeting to discuss what they don't know.....

    I changed my mind. Please, go on your two week vacation already.

    March 21, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Wes

    Democratic lies led to the deaths of over 50000 US servicemen and women in Viet Nam.

    March 21, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. MTATL67

    This seems to be the only whipping post for Congressional Republicans now that evidence is emerging that NO chemical weapons were used in Syria

    March 21, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. matt

    i'm a republican. i thought bengahzi was mismanaged on multiple levels.

    HOWEVER guys, seriously. Give it a rest. We have pressing current issues to address.

    March 21, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. MJS

    What about repealing Obamacare, the oppression of women, Wilbur Mills? GOP needs to keep the eye on the ball.

    March 21, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. ga.democrat

    The GOP has nothing else to talk about. They have no ideas and moving forward is not in their play book. The Grand Old Party trots out the same nut jobs with the same crazy rhetoric and then wonder why they continue to implode. Maybe they should finally get off the hate Obama bus and actually work with the President to do something to benefit the country.

    March 21, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Hey gop, maybe if you ,the gop,didn't cut funding for embassy security in the budget ,we wouldn't need to have four read American heros on top of the 3000+ dead on 9-11 – 2001 and the 4600 dead troops you killed to get your oil companies cronies contracts for Iraqi oil for bush and cheny ,its all out there to read America !!!!!! The hop is dead@!!!

    March 21, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. Loathstheright

    Typical of Republicans....nothing there boys, just typical treasonous actions from republicans.

    March 21, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  9. Smalls

    Better expend all of their political capital now. Come 2014, they'll be a distant memory. Not a good memory, but distant non the less.

    March 21, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Hey gop ,what about 9-11 and your total incompetentes and the 3000 dead ,gop has blood on its hands, lots of it.

    March 21, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. cbp

    Oh yes, a really folksy interpretation of why they held the meeting and what was discussed. No one disputes the fact that the attack was a terrible blow. We value each life that is lost and we mourn with the families. However, the Secretary of State and others testified before Congress. What are these members looking for? Are they looking to blame someone and do they think that will make things better?

    We must move on and we must work to keep our diplomats safe. However, we cannot keep them in a bubble. They know the risks and they accept them as part of their jobs.

    Speaker Boehner is doing everything he can to keep from solving the budgetary problems we are having. He does not want to work with the Democrats or the President. Should he do so he believes that his job will be ont he line. That is why he continues to bring up Libya. It is his way of doing nothing to help the President only now it is not to keep him from running for another term. Perhaps he needs to explain his position to the American people.

    March 21, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. g

    please put more of bachmann on -i crack up every time she talks -coo-coo

    March 21, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. ST

    Don't these republicans understand when they continue talking about Benghazi it opens widely the wounds of Iraq war? Keep on talking GOP as it keeps all the images and the anger of Iraq war arrive. Keep on reminding people of the war beyond 2014 until 2016.

    March 21, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    They will do ANYTHING to keep from doing their real jobs. 3 days a week every 3 weeks and they get $174,000. That's what should be investigated !!!!!!

    March 21, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The Republicans are like spoiled, little brats who can't handle the truth. My children in third grade are more mature than these half wits!

    March 21, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  16. Former GOPer

    Dear Republican Senators... Thank you for doing what you were sent to Washington to do... help improve the economy, get people back to work, fix the infrastructure, etc. Great job fellas. Thanks for nothing!

    March 21, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. rs

    Watching the GOP get so, so, worked up about the death of 4 Americans, you'd think they all just became Quakers or something. Oh, no! They were calling for war in Syria over WMD.

    Say, does that sound familiar to anybody?

    March 21, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
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