The Telltale Talking Points

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 16 2012 2:37 PM

The Telltale Talking Points

All praise unto Rep. Peter King, the outgoing House Homeland Security Committee chairman who was one of the first out of the gates on Benghazi. He exited today's private briefing with David Petraeus and got asked whether, finally, Susan Rice's talking points really did match what the CIA knew.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

KING: They were not involved — it was done, the process was completed and they said, “Ok go with those talking points.” Again it’s interagency — I got the impression that 7, 8, 9 different agencies.
Q: Did he give you the impression that he was upset it was taken out?
KING: No.
Q: You said the CIA said “OK” to the revised report –
KING: No, well, they said in that, after it goes through the process, they OK’d it to go. Yeah, they said “Okay for it to go.”
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The whole Rice story is quickly becoming the most pointless angle here. Nobody claims that she, at her perch in Turtle Bay, had anything to do with the security failures that led to the murders in Benghazi. The knock is that she went on TV five days (actually, effectively four, given the timing of the attacks) after the murders and failed to say what conservatives knew in their guys was true. Was it true? Maybe! But if the CIA wasn't 100 percent on it, the charge is, I guess, that she should have gone further than they did in assigning blame.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.