Three congressmen from the House Select Committee on Benghazi laid out the findings of their report Wednesday on Fox & Friends, refuting the media narrative that the investigation had uncovered nothing of note in its conclusions.
Reps. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), and Lynn Westmoreland (R., Ga.) all appeared on Fox News to explain some of their probe’s main revelations. Among the highlights of the report was the military’s failure to carry out then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s orders to deploy forces to Benghazi and "the lengthy delay that prevented the military assets from arriving at the embassy in Tripoli until 2 p.m. the day after the Benghazi attack," according to NBC News.
Host Brian Kilmeade first played a montage of mainstream reporters parroting the same talking point that nothing new about then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton was uncovered in the Benghazi investigation.
"Congressman Jordan, is that true?" Kilmeade asked.
"No, Brian, we learned that no military assets had even taken off before the attack was over," Jordan said. "What did start before the attack was over was the political spin, because at 10:08 that night, when Tyrone Woods is still on the roof of the annex fighting for his life and his fellow citizens’ lives, [Secretary Clinton]’s making a statement that points to the video as the catalyst for the attack, which we all know was false."
Jordan aggressively questioned Clinton during her lengthy testimony before the committee last fall and demonstrated through her own emails that she was explaining to the public that the video caused the assault while telling her family in the hours after the attack that an al Qaeda-like group was responsible.
"Politics drove this from the get-go for this administration, and that’s something that shouldn’t happen in our country," Jordan said.
Pompeo elaborated on the administration’s concerns over being sensitive to the Libyan government while the Benghazi victims were still in harm’s way. The State Department forced Marines being considered for deployment to Benghazi to change uniform four times over concerns about upsetting diplomatic relationships in the region.
"That’s crazy. You had an ambassador missing," Pompeo said. "You had 3o-plus people that were in harm’s way fighting for their lives and you have our secretary of state … with a bunch of deputies from all across government debating whether or not we can send forces in rather than doing what Secretary Panetta had actually told them to do, do everything you can to get these people back. It’s reprehensible that they dithered while those folks were in a fight."
Asked by Kilmeade why no action was taken to "stop the carnage," Jordan said the facts pointed to political concerns taking precedence over security, including the need for Libya to be a success story for the administration.
"You had one diplomatic security agent call it a suicide mission, another said everyone in Benghazi is going to die," Jordan said. "That’s how bad the situation was, but because of politics, because this was supposed to be their crown jewel of foreign policy success, they stayed … and when the terrorist attack happened on 9/11, they had to mislead the American people because they were 56 days before an election. Their legacy was on the line."
Pompeo said he was proud of what the committee accomplished, saying it gave a whole new understanding of Clinton putting politics above what happened on the ground.
Clinton said Tuesday it was "time to move on" after the committee’s findings were released, as she has repeatedly implored during the investigation.