Former White House spokesman Tommy Vietor, in a tense interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, downplayed the revived controversy over the Benghazi talking points, saying he does not remember his own role in the editing process because: “Dude, this was like two years ago.”
Vietor, the former spokesman for the National Security Council, insisted on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Thursday that emails that link a White House adviser to former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice’s controversial Sunday show statements about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate say nothing new.
The Obama administration has been under fire since the emails were released earlier this week, with some Republicans calling them the “smoking gun.” The emails indicate a White House aide helped prep Rice for her appearances and pushed the explanation that the attack was because of an Internet video. The White House is now facing credibility questions, since they had previously downplayed their role in Rice’s talking points.
Vietor repeated the stance of Press Secretary Jay Carney, who has repeatedly tried to claim that the so-called “prep call” with Rice — as it was described in one email — was not about Benghazi. Vietor said the email was referring to ongoing protests around the world against American embassies.
Baier then asked Vietor whether he personally changed the word “attack” to “demonstrations” in the talking points for Rice.
When pressed by Baier, Vietor said, “Dude, this was like two years ago. We’re still talking about the most mundane process.”
“Dude it is the thing that everybody’s talking about,” Baier replied.
When asked why it took a Freedom of Information Act request to release those emails, Vietor said he wished they had been released earlier.
“I bet you every single person in that White House wished that email has been released earlier. I wish it too because it tells us nothing new, It tells us what we said privately was what we said publicly, because that is what we thought had occurred,” Vietor said.
When pressed on where President Obama was during the Benghazi attack, Vietor said he was in the Situation Room, but President Obama was not. He said Obama was in the White House.
“It is well known that when the attack was first briefed to him it was in the Oval Office and he was updated constantly,” Vietor said, adding he did not know where the president was at all points in the night because he does not have a “tracking device on him.” He said Obama does not have to be in the Situation Room to monitor an ongoing situation.
Before his appearance, Vietor tweeted Baier must have asked him onto his show to ask him about Benghazi for a “Throwback Thursday” thing.