White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wouldn't answer Fox News correspondent Ed Henry's question Thursday about reports on the CIA being on the ground the night of the Benghazi attack and whether operatives with information about it were being silenced by agency higher-ups.
Carney dodged, referring Henry to the CIA and claiming the agency had provided "an extraordinary amount of information" related to the attack. He also said he was not aware of any CIA employees who experienced retaliation, although a CNN report last week said there was an "unprecedented" effort by the agency to keep its Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out:
HENRY: Last one. Last week CNN reported that dozens of people were working for the CIA around Benghazi on the night of the attack, and they are claiming that some of these CIA operatives now feel like they're being intimidated, that they're getting polygraph tests sometimes on a monthly basis, which is much more frequent than CIA officials apparently normally get, because the government is trying to figure out whether or not they're talking to the media, they're talking to Congress about what happened that night. Can you assure the American people that's not happening, and can you shed any light on what the CIA was doing? I realize there may be classified information there, but in general, is there anything you can say about what the CIA was doing there?
CARNEY: I don't have any information on CIA individuals or operations in — around the world. I would refer you to the CIA on that. I would also refer you to the very clear statement in response to that put out by the CIA, which says the CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi. Furthermore, CIA leadership has informed officers who may want to speak with the oversight committees on this matter that it will support and facilitate such contact. CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want to, and there is an established process to facilitate such communication on a confidential basis. The CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures, or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about that Benghazi incident. I think that's a fairly detailed response to —
HENRY: And if you — you're just relying on what they're saying. Has the White House checked with the CIA to make sure that that's the case, or that's just their statement?
CARNEY: Again, I would refer you to the statement the CIA made on the record as a response to that report.