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October 10th, 2012
09:19 AM ET

Rep. Chaffetz says he 'absolutely' voted to cut funding for embassy security, arguing 'you have to prioritize things'

In just a few hours, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing to look into the murky circumstances and possible intelligence failures that led to the  deadly September 11th attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

The hearing comes just a day after a bombshell briefing from the State Department. During a conference call with reporters yesterday, two senior State Department officials said that violent protests over an anti-Islam video, which the Obama administration has blamed for the attack, never even took place in Benghazi.

"There had been nothing unusual during the day outside... There was nobody on the street," a senior official said. "Then at 9:40 they saw on the security cameras that there were armed men invading the compound."

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz has recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Libya and he joins Starting Point today to defend his suggestion that the there was a coordinated effort between the White House and the State Department to scale down security precautions in the country prior to the attack.

"When intelligence information comes forward, it doesn't just go to the State Department, it also goes to the White House. That's why we have a National Security Council. So for the White House to claim ignorance on this is absolutely, totally not true" Chaffetz says.

The Congressman also defends his criticism of the Obama administration despite the fact that he voted to cut funding for embassy security.

"When you're in tough economic times, you have to prioritize things," Chaffetz says. "Libya was not a priority. I've heard because they wanted the appearance of normalization. That fit the Obama narrative going forward."

Filed under: Libya • Politics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. John D. Taylor

    Rachel Maddow put out a senario last night on her show that explaines why the Republicans are going after Susan Rice. It is about Scott Brown's senate seat. It makes sense to me.

    November 28, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sandy

    I love how this story was on the front page when it was reported that they were having a hearing on this matter, but when it's found out that republicans voted to cut security funding, the story is buried.

    October 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    Chaffetz admits to voting for reduced security spending there, and in the same sentence slams Obama for cutting security spending there. That's not party line pandering at all now is it?

    October 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. carolyn ann

    Just a quick question: is it beyond CNN's ken to realize that sometimes the headline and really-incredibly-long-URL just don't fit into 140 characters? How about shortening some (most?) of your URL's – that would be a good start.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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