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RNC seeks pre-election Benghazi communications between State Department and Obama campaign

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Susan Ferrechio,Benghazi

The Republican National Committee wants to know if election-year politics played a role in the now-discredited talking points used by the Obama administration in the wake of terrorists attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans last Sept. 11.

The RNC has issued a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain communications between President Obama's re-election campaign staff and State Department employees, demanding all documents and emails related to the attack on the dates between the incident and Election Day.

Republicans want emails and documents that include the words “Libya” and “Benghazi” and particularly any communications related to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice’s appearance on a round of Sunday talk shows following the attack. Rice told the talk shows the attack had been perpetuated by protesters reacting to an anti-Muslim YouTube video and was not related to terrorism or al Qaeda.

Republicans believe the talking points were altered to remove any reference to Islamic terrorism, possibly to protect Obama’s campaign-trail claim that he had largely defeated al Qaeda. The White House denies that changes made in the administration's statements on Benghazi were made for political reasons.

“Americans need to know whether the State Department had any contact with the staff of the president’s re-election campaign as talking points on Benghazi were drafted and edited,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “We certainly hope political considerations didn’t come into play when the administration decided what to tell the American people, but the administration’s changing answers certainly raise valid concerns that we don’t know the full story.”

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