White House press secretary Jay Carney indicated the administration may not cooperate with the new House select committee investigating the unanswered questions surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi, even refusing to answer a direct question about it.
White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures as he answers questions during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Carney was asked several questions about the botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett. (AP Photo) AP Photo
Carney said there were seven different investigations with 13 hearings probing Benghazi.
“We have always cooperated with legitimate oversight,” Carney told reporters in what appeared to be a shot at the latest investigation.
“All of the seven separate investigations, all of the committees that have participated in this investigations, all of the administration personnel," he added.
“If you look at what some Republicans say, it certainly cast doubt on the legitimacy,” Carney continued. “It's a problem when you have so many conspiracy theories knocked down by the facts and yet the adherents to those theories only become more convinced that the facts are what they so clearly are. That information, which is fed by the Republican party in this case, reconfirms for those who want to believe in conspiracy theories that don't have any factual basis but tell them they're true anyway, by media outlets that pound that message in to those who are predisposed to believe it.”
Carney took similar question several times about whether the administration would cooperate.
He was asked if the administration considered the new committee legitimate, and said he declined to speculate. ABC's Jonathan Karl later asked directly if the administration would cooperate, to which Carney declined to give a yes or no answer.
“What I'm not going to do is speculate about what might come and how it's going to play out,” Carney said after making a comment that elicited laughter from the White House press corps. “What I will remind you of is our cooperation of our history on this and many others.”
He went on to say, "We're going to focus on where we can move forward for the American people.”
Last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced he would appoint a special committee in light of new revelations that White House staffers played a role in shaping the talking points used by then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice on various Sunday shows that blamed the attack on an anti-Muslim video. The e-mails were obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) will chair the select committee.