A mid-level staffer named Larry Schwartz is responsible for a series of statements and Twitter messages from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that sparked a political firestorm Tuesday over America’s response to the attacks on its consulate, according to Foreign Policy.
The Cable reported Wednesday that Schwartz, a senior public affairs officer at the embassy, penned the contested release and authorized the tweets, which were later deemed a rogue effort by U.S. officials in Washington.
Officials at the State Department urged Schwartz not to release the statement, yet he did it anyway, according to the report:
Before issuing the press release, Schwartz cleared it with just one person senior to himself, Deputy Chief of Mission Marc Sievers, who was the charge d’affaires at the embassy on Tuesday because Ambassador Anne Patterson was in Washington at the time, the official said.
Schwartz sent the statement to the State Department in Washington before publishing and the State Department directed him not to post it without changes, but Schwartz posted it anyway.
“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.’”