President Obama made a brief statement this morning about the death of American Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans at our Libyan consulate on yesterday. Obama’s prepared remarks reflected virtually word for word an earlier statement made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Despite a CBS News report to the contrary, Obama claimed that the Libyan security forces “fought back against the attackers.” He also claimed that Libyan civilians attempted to aid Ambassador Stevens by transporting him to the hospital:
Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans. Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.
Photographic images told a different story of the crowd’s conduct, however. Rather than aiding Ambassador Stevens, the crowd appeared to be dragging him through the streets. One image showed a member of the crowd carrying an unidentified man that appears to be Ambassador Stevens on his shoulders like a hunting trophy.
President Obama did not take questions from the press after he spoke. The full text of President Obama’s remarks can be seen here.