“Sorry to be late to this discussion. We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.
“There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed. Insofar as we have firmed up assessments that don’t compromise intel or the investigation, we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression.
“We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.”
ABC got it wrong.
The actual e-mail from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show that whomever leaked it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House was primarily concerned with the State Department’s desire to remove references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not bring criticism to the department. [...]
Whoever provided those quotes seemingly invented the notion that Rhodes wanted the concerns of the State Department specifically addressed…. Rhodes put no emphasis at all in his e-mail on the State Department’s concerns. [...]
So whoever leaked the inaccurate information earlier this month did so in a way that made it appear that the White House – specifically Rhodes – was more interested in the State Department’s concerns, and more focused on the talking points, than the e-mail actually stated.
This is why it’s so important to be cautious about getting too far ahead of stories (“Scandal!!! Benghazi!!!!!) like these.
Talking to you media, GOP, and anyone else out there who pushes hysteria instead of facts.
Tapper has more here.