Meet the Press   |  December 29, 2013

Issa maintains Obama misled public

Issa maintains that the Obama administration misled the public following the Benghazi attack.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> one point is they were denying a cia outpost in the initial days because it was too dangerous and because we don't talk about intelligence. the point of why use the term al qaeda ? because you and other members of congress are sophisticated in this and know that when you say al qaeda , people think central al qaeda . they don't think militias that may be inspired by bin laden and his other followers. so it is a hot button for political reasons from the administration's view.

>> andrea, it was accurate. there was a group that was involved that claims an affiliation with al qaeda . now, al qaeda is not a central command in control. it was, in fact, a loose group that could take general statements and act on them. the important thing in our investigation, in the oversight committee investigation, where people have said under oath repeatedly they were not given the security they asked for in advance, they can't understand why there were not clear attempts to help them during those 8 and a half hours --

>> these are separate issues, chairman. the key question is, do you stand by that the administration lied about who was behind it and what initially happened given this reporting?

>> i think david kirkpatrick very clearly says the statements made were false and misleading. he says that in his report. i don't have to state anything. i'll stand, quite frankly, behind what david kirkpatrick said.

>> with the amount of information they had at the time, isn't there a distinction between fog of war and an attempt to deceive?

>> gregory hicks hearing the last words of stephens to the outside world was told, we're under attack. and under oath when asked, if the ambassador had seen a protest or anything else earlier, would he have reported it, he said of course, yes. the fact is people from this administration, career professionals, have said under oath there was no evidence of any kind of a reaction to a video and, in fact, this was a planned attack that came quickly. that's the evidence we have by people who work for the u.s. government and were under oath.

>> and again, the reporting today indicating that there was no evidence to be found of direct al qaeda link, this was clearly an attack like people on the ground felt it was.

>> david kirkpatrick doesn't have the classified information that mike rogers and others have, and neither do i.

>> classified information can also be based on incomplete information . it's realtime. if intelligence were always right, we wouldn't have a lot of the oversight in this country we have. reports are often wrong, are they not?

>> what we know, david, is initial reports did not name this video as a prime cause . there was a small piece of information in a cable, they seized on it along with a lot of other information and chose to use that as a talking point. andrea, i think you hit it right on the head. if there were always about trying to deflect the fact that there was another large facility, fine, but the administration should honestly say that. we've already had director clapper say he lied before the congress.

>> didn't the administration's own independent review board come to the conclusion that the security failures you cited from gregory hicks and other witnesses were accurate? and it was a slamming report.

>> it was a slamming report. my concern with that report is it doesn't go high enough, it doesn't go to undersecretary kennedy and others who had direct responsibility. but having said that, yes, they made it clear they should have had security they didn't have. mullen, when asked, if they had had a fast team like yemen had or like libya has today, would there have been an attack, and in his opinion, with those kinds of forces behind the walls , there wouldn't have been an attack.