White House: ‘Irrelevant Fact’ Where Obama Was During Benghazi

During a joint news conference with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Barack Obama defends his administration’s actions in the wake of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year. (AP)

Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday it’s an “irrelevant fact” where exactly President Barack Obama was while the Benghazi attack was unfolding.

Pfeiffer told “Fox News Sunday” that Obama was “kept up to date on this as it was happening” last September, “from the moment it started until the very end.”

But host Chris Wallace, who had asked what specifically Obama did during the night of the deadly assault, said Pfeiffer didn’t answer his question.

Pfeiffer said Obama “was in constant touch that night with his national security team” and repeated that he “was kept up to date with the events that were happening.”

Wallace asked whether Obama was in the White House Situation Room.

“I don’t remember what room the president was in on that night. That’s a largely an irrelevant fact,” Pfeiffer replied. “The premise of your question is that somehow there was something that could have been done differently and would have changed the outcome here. The accountability review board has looked at this, people have looked at it. It’s a horrible tragedy what happened and what we have to do is make sure it never happens again.”

Continuing to press the point, Wallace said “no one knows where he was or how he was involved.”

“The suggestion of your question that somehow the president — ” Pfeiffer began.

“I just want to know what the answer is,” Wallace said.

“The assertions from Republicans here that somehow the president allowed this to happen or didn’t take action is offensive,” Pfeiffer said. “It is absolutely offensive. And there’s no evidence to support it.”

“I’m simply asking a question,” Wallace said. “Where was he? What did he do? How did he respond — who told him you can’t deploy forces and what was his response to that?”

Pfeiffer repeated, “The president was in the White House that day, he was kept up to date by his national security team, he spoke to the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs earlier, and as events unfolded he was kept up to date.”