Transcript: Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s remarks on Gen. David Petraeus’s testimony on Benghazi

Edited by Jenny Jiang

Transcript of remarks by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on former CIA Director David Petraeus’s testimony on the Benghazi consulate attack at a press briefing on Nov. 16, 212:

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia): Well, let me just say we had a very excellent hearing with General Petraeus.

As always, he continues to be very direct, very forthright.

And as the only individual in a leadership position who has been back on the ground in Libya since the incident occurred on Sept. 11, it was very important to get him in. He did have a little bit of a different perspective on some things and clarified some of the issues that were still a little cloudy.

So it was a very good hearing with him and I’m pleased he could be here today to talk about it.

Question: What did he talk about?

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia): Well, I can’t go into the classified issues that we talked about obviously. But there are, as you can imagine, any number of issues in this scenario because of the fact that we’re not on the ground, we don’t have people back in Benghazi today even, that there are still a lot of unanswered questions, and he helped clarify some of those issues that are still outstanding.

Question: Did you hear anything from General Petraeus today that contradicted testimony that you heard yesterday from the CIA or from any of the groups?

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia): No.

Question: What are your biggest unanswered questions?

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia): Well, we still got to determine number one, how did this group penetrate this facility that we had in Benghazi and who were these folks? We have a pretty good idea now. We’re getting closer to determining that. We know they were Al Qaeda affiliates or Al Qaeda itself. We know that there had been training going on on the ground there. And it’s delving into more depth on issues like that that we’ve got to find out about.

Question: Did General Petraeus say that the CIA knew this was terrorism from the beginning and, if so, why would that fact be classified?

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia): There was no question in the mind of anybody that this was an act of terrorism from the get go. You don’t have protestors coming to a protest or to demonstrate with AK-47s and other weapons, including RPGs and mortars. So there’s never been any question about that. I did a press release on Sept. 12 saying that this was an act of terrorism because clearly that’s what it was and everybody knew that.

Question: Why was it classified then?

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia): It wasn’t.

Question: Well, then why did Susan Rice go on the Sunday shows at that point and not say it was terrorism?

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia): Well, you’ll have to ask Susan Rice that.

Question: Why did the unclassified talking points say that it wasn’t terrorism?

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia): Well, there were some changes made to those talking points and there’s still issues about those talking points that are yet to be resolved.

But the problem with what Susan Rice said was not if she had stuck with the talking points were they correct – they were. She went beyond that and she even mentioned that under the leadership of Barack Obama we had decimated Al Qaeda when she knew at that point in time that Al Qaeda was very likely responsible in part, or in whole, for the death of Ambassador Stevens.

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One Comment on “Transcript: Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s remarks on Gen. David Petraeus’s testimony on Benghazi

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger's remarks on Gen. David Petraeus's testimony on Benghazi | What The Folly?!

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