President Obama has declined to answer questions about a report that Americans under attack in Libya on Sept. 11 were denied help, saying the entire incident is still under investigation.
When asked Friday by KUSA-TV of Denver if results of the investigation would be released after the election, Obama said: The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. These are folks who served under me who I had sent to some very dangerous places. Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do.
Republicans have accused the Obama administration of trying to cover up details of the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Fox News is reporting that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command who also told the CIA operators twice to stand down rather than help the ambassadors team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
ABC News reports President Obama told KUSA-TVs Kyle Clarke large that we want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people, were going to bring those folks to justice. So, were going to gather all the facts, find out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesnt happen again but were also going to make sure that we bring to justice those who carried out these attacks.
Clark pressed again.
Were they denied requests for help during the attack? he asked.
Well, we are finding out exactly what happened, the president again said. I can tell you, as Ive said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, were going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesnt happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and were going to find out exactly what happened, but what were also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.
In response (to the Fox report), CIA spokesperson Jennifer Youngblood said, We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.
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