May 19th, 2013
11:54 AM ET
11 months ago

ABC's Jonathan Karl to CNN: 'I regret the email was quoted incorrectly'

(CNN) – Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News, addressed criticism of his reporting on the Benghazi talking points controversy, saying in a statement to CNN that he regrets the inaccuracy of his report.

“Clearly, I regret the email was quoted incorrectly and I regret that it’s become a distraction from the story, which still entirely stands. I should have been clearer about the attribution. We updated our story immediately," he said in the statement to Howard Kurtz, host of CNN's "Reliable Sources."

Earlier this month, Karl reported that he obtained emails by White House staff that indicated they had a dramatic role in altering the talking points that were later used by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice on Sunday morning talk shows to explain the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

From those talking points, she said the attack spurred from a spontaneous demonstration outside the compound, while the Obama administration later stated the violence came from a premeditated terror attack.

Questions soon arose over how the error took place, as reports showed that initial drafts of those talking points included references to extremists but were later changed to attribute the incident to protests over an anti-Islam film.

Karl reported on May 10 that, based on summaries of the emails, the White House had a leading role in the editing process and had scrubbed vital information from the talking points.

But CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper, host of CNN's "The Lead," reported days later that the actual e-mail from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes told a different story.

Read more about the discrepancy here.


Filed under: Libya • The Lead
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. just sayin

    so all the obama leftists have is some misquote by jonathan karl and they think this changes the entire benghazi fiasco??? what a farce! all of the facts still remain. total incompetence and negligence leading up to the attack, total incompetence and negligence during the attack, and a total cover up and fabrication after the attack in order to deceive the american people 7 weeks before the election. had all their incompetence and negligence come out before the election, obama would not have been re-elected.

    May 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Ya know........this "controversy" is just BOGUS........Rice knew when she appeared on those Sunday news programs, and told that lie, that it WAS a lie. She knew because she had access just like the public did........to the truth. All you had to do, was read another news network........one NOT controlled by the Democratic Party.

    The TRUTH was reported by the BBC within 24 hours. It was in the international news, and yet.........not only RIce, but both Hillary and Obama were still LYING to the people about what went on in Benghazi, for a full 14 days, before they finally were forced to admit the truth........and yet, they NEVER ADMITTED they were lying to the people, even though it has been PROVEN, they knew the truth immediately!

    The only thing the investigation hasn't yet determined.......is what the reason/s were, for the LYING!

    May 19, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. lottie

    another fine report from the GOP. Where is the outrage from the republicans Hey Orangeman don't you want to send someone to jail over this? Whats that no comment.?

    May 19, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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