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POLITICS: PennAve

Sen. Kelly Ayotte: White House response to Benghazi emails 'doesn't pass the laugh test'

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,Benghazi,PennAve,Kelly Ayotte,Ben Rhodes

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., on Sunday said the Benghazi">White House response to newly released internal emails about the Benghazi terrorist strike “doesn't pass the laugh test” and insisted that a congressional special committee could get to the bottom of what truly happened in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.

“Why is it that we're just receiving this email?” the Republican senator asked on “Fox News Sunday."

“It doesn't pass the laugh test,” Ayotte said of White House claims that officials were merely repeating talking points crafted by the Central Intelligence Agency. “The video story clearly came from the White House.”

The emails show that top White House officials were involved in framing the narrative that an anti-Islam video was the root cause of the attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens.

In the emails, White House communications official Ben Rhodes lays out the goals for the now-infamous Sunday show appearance by then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in the wake of the terrorist strike.

Rhodes calls on Rice “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy” and “show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., appearing on the Fox program, said the GOP formation of a special committee to investigate Benghazi was purely for political reasons -- and he added that Democrats likely wouldn't take part in the group.

“I think it’s a colossal waste of time,” Schiff said, calling the committee a “tremendous red herring and a waste of taxpayer resources.”

But Ayotte countered that the committee could produce tangible results despite being formed more than a year and a half after the Sept. 11 attack.

“I don’t think it’s too late,” she said. “We have to get to the bottom of this."

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Brian Hughes

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner