During an interview aired on “60 Minutes,” President Obama attempted to deflect some of the heat off himself and onto the staff at the the U.S. embassy in Cairo. When he’s not throwing scapegoats under the bus he’s comparing his campaign workers to those lost in Cairo. Back to the bus:
“In an effort to cool the situation down, it didn’t come from me, it didn’t come from Secretary Clinton. It came from people on the ground who are potentially in danger,” Obama said. “And my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance, rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office.”
But Obama’s remarks belie the enormous frustration of top officials at the State Department and White House with the actions of the man behind the statement, Cairo senior public affairs officer Larry Schwartz, who wrote the release and oversees the embassy’s Twitter feed, according to a detailed account of the Tuesday’s events.
“The statement was not cleared with anyone in Washington. It was sent as ‘This is what we are putting out,'” the official said. “We replied and said this was not a good statement and that it needed major revisions. The next email we received from Embassy Cairo was ‘We just put this out.'”
A heated discussion ensued among State Department and White House officials over e-mail as the controversy over the statement grew Tuesday evening, even grabbing the attention of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, those same officials were dealing with a more serious attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four American officials, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Charming. Except Hillary Clinton double-downed on the embassy’s apology. They were perfectly fine with the statement until, just like with the exclusion of God and Jerusalem at the DNC, they saw the pushback. The new story is that it’s all the staffer’s fault. As if the guy didn’t already have enough trouble avoiding the mob that stormed his workplace’s walls and is once again currently outside with torches and pitchforks. Better Schwartz take the fall than the Commander in Chief.