As the dust of Thursday’s vice presidential debate settles, one of the storylines of Friday morning is Joe Biden’s bold statement that the administration was not told that officials in Libya requested more security before an attack that led to the death of several Americans, including our ambassador. The fact-checkers have found that to be patently false. And now, even the mainstream media is predicting it could be a problem.
First, here’s Biden’s comment (starting at about 2:19):
Now, this is how the Associated Press criticized Biden’s answer from its fact check from last night:
BIDEN: “Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security again. And by the way, at the time we were told exactly – we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. That was the assessment. And as the intelligence community changed their view, we made it clear they changed their view.”
RYAN: “There were requests for more security.”
THE FACTS: Ryan is right, judging by testimony from Obama administration officials at the hearing a day earlier.
Charlene R. Lamb, a deputy assistant secretary for diplomatic security, told lawmakers she refused requests for more security in Benghazi, saying the department wanted to train Libyans to protect the consulate. “Yes, sir, I said personally I would not support it,” she said.
Eric Nordstrom, who was the top security official in Libya earlier this year, testified he was criticized for seeking more security. He said conversations he had with people in Washington led him to believe that it was “abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. How thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?”
He said his exasperation reached a point where he told a colleague that “for me the Taliban is on the inside of the building.”
This morning, both CBS’s Jan Crawford and MSNBC’s Mark Halperin said this could spell trouble for the administration.
That’s bad news for Obama.