Obama: Focus on Benghazi talking points is a "sideshow"

The president said the notion that there was some kind of coverup "defies logic"

By Jillian Rayfield

Published May 13, 2013 4:20PM (EDT)

President Obama strongly condemned renewed questions about the Benghazi talking points given to Susan Rice, following reports that they had been revised 12 times with input from the State Department. "The whole issue of talking points, frankly throughout this process, has been a sideshow," Obama said in a press conference on Monday. "What we have been very clear about throughout was that immediately after this event happened, we were not clear who exactly had carried it out, how it had occurred, what the motivations were.

"So the whole thing defies logic and the fact that this keeps on getting churned out, frankly has a lot to do with political motivations," he continued. "We've had folks who have challenged Hillary Clinton's integrity, Susan Rice's integrity," also noting that Republicans have used the attacks on Benghazi for fundraising.

"We dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus," Obama said.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Barack Obama Benghazi Hillary Rodham Clinton Libya Susan Rice