POLITICS

State Department shuts down Benghazi questions: ‘You’ll have to take my word for it’

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,State,Benghazi

“You’ll have to take my word for it,” said a spokesperson for the most transparent administration in history when reporters asked her to substantiate her claim that the CIA removed references to terrorists from the Benghazi talking points before the State Department ever saw them.

“If you look at the talking points and the train of that, the reference to al Qaeda was taken out even before the State Department saw the talking points,” Jen Psaki, former traveling campaign press secretary for the Obama team in 2012, told reporters during the State Department press briefing Monday.

This comment put Psaki in a tight spot because she had just denied a reporter’s request that the State Department release all drafts of the talking points.

“I appreciate your ask,” she had replied, using a stock Jay Carney answer. “That’s not something that’s planned at this time, and if that changes we’ll certainly let you know.”

Psaki’s suggestion that they “look at the talking points” gave one reporter an opening. “I can’t know that it was taken out before the State Department saw it because you haven’t released all that information,” the reporter pointed out. “You’re just telling me that.”

“All right,” Psaki replied. “Well, you’ll have to take my word for it, or I believe that email may have been public. But the larger point here, Brad, is that this is an ongoing investigation. I know that you’d like to see some results of that, as many people would. The President and the secretary, their counterparts and partners in the intel community, are very focused on that.”

At which point, one of the press corps snarked, “Is there a statute of limitations on this investigation, or does it end in January 22nd, 2016, or something?”

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