Paul Ryan: "I don't know" if there was a Benghazi cover-up

"We just need to investigate this for the sake of good government," he added

By Jillian Rayfield

Published May 19, 2013 4:37PM (EDT)

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said on this week's episode of Fox News Sunday that he does not know whether there was a "cover-up" related to the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, but the investigation needs to run its course.

"Those of us who have had the briefings, seen the videos, know there was no protest involved," Ryan said. "To suggest afterwards that this was the result of a spontaneous protest, we now know is not the case. So the burden of proof here is on the administration's side. Why did they continue to push this kind of a story when they knew nearly immediately afterwards that that was not the case?"

Host Chris Wallace asked Ryan if he thinks the White House "purposely misled" the American people to help win the election. "I don't know the answer to that question," Ryan replied. "Rather make a conclusion before an investigation has been completed, we just need to investigate this for the sake of good government."

As The Huffington Post points out, this is a slightly different approach from the one Ryan has been taking:

As recently as last week, Ryan insisted to conservative radio that there is "no doubt" a cover-up took place, an assertion that remains on his official congressional website.

But a day after Ryan's talk radio appearance, the White House released more than 100 pages of emails that cast doubt on the Republican theory that the administration had altered its talking points about the attack for political gain.

Jillian Rayfield

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

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Barack Obama Benghazi Benghazi Attack Hillary Clinton Libya Paul Ryan Susan Rice