TAPPER: President Obama shortly after the attacks told “60 Minutes” that regarding Romney’s response to the attack, specifically in Egypt, the president said that Romney has a tendency to shoot first and aim later. Given the fact that so much was made out of the video that apparently had absolutely nothing to do with the attack on Benghazi, that there wasn’t even a protest outside the Benghazi post, didn’t President Obama shoot first and aim later?
CARNEY: First of all, Jake, I think your assessment about what we know now is not complete. But I would simply say that –
TAPPER: What part are you talking — because I’m just going by what the State Department said yesterday, what –
CARNEY: There is no question that in the region, including in Cairo, there were demonstrations reacting to the –
TAPPER: I’m talking about Benghazi –
CARNEY: — the release of that video. And I will leave it to those who are testifying on the Hill to talk about, as they are –
TAPPER: The State Department said yesterday there was no protests.
CARNEY: That — that’s not what you said, though. You — there were — there were –
TAPPER: I’m talking about in Benghazi.
TAPPER: I’m not –
CARNEY: I’m not disputing that there was a protest. But what we said at the time is our intelligence community assessed that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo. OK?
Again, this is a moving picture, and people who on the night of an attack or the day after claim they know all the facts without making clear that what we know is based on preliminary information aren’t being straight, and they’re in some cases trying to politicize a situation that should not be politicized. I think that’s what the president was getting at. And I think many other people felt the same way.
This president’s focus has been from day one on going after those who killed four Americans, on protecting the thousands of diplomatic personnel we have around the world and those facilities that they work in, and on making sure that a thorough investigation is conducted to find out what happened and look — that looks into our security posture both in Benghazi and elsewhere.
TAPPER: I’d have to go back and read the transcript, but I remember both President Obama and Secretary Clinton talking about the video in the remarks in the ceremony when Ambassador Stevens’ remains were returned to this country. Maybe I have — maybe I’m remembering that wrong, but it seems to me there was a lot of talk about the videos in relation to the tragedy that unfolded.
CARNEY: I don’t have anything new for you about what the assessments are of how the attack came about, what the role of protests and demonstrations in other parts of the region were. I will point you to those who are testifying on Capitol Hill about this very matter as we speak.