Johnson: Obama Admin ‘Purposefully Misled the American Public’ on Benghazi

Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) sharply criticized President Barack Obama Thursday, stating the White House deliberately deceived the country about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead.

Johnson said he came away from a Thursday morning briefing of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee about the assault with the conclusion that the Obama administration misled the public, using United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice as the "tool" to do a "very large job of that misleading," during an interview on Fox News.

"When she went on those talk shows and said that in fact this was a spontaneous reaction to the video, she knew full well it wasn't ‘in fact,'" Johnson said. "There was certainly doubt about that. This administration understood very early on this was a terrorist attack. The intelligence report showed it was probably perpetrated by groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda."

"They knew this full well but for a couple weeks they purposefully misled the American public," Johnson continued. "We need to get to the bottom of who directed Ambassador Rice to do that. Quite honestly, in the end, it really falls on President Obama."

During his successful re-election bid, Obama frequently asserted on the campaign trail that al-Qaeda was badly damaged.

"They didn't want to change that narrative," Johnson said. "Al-Qaeda is not decimated. Unfortunately, it's on the rise and it's threatening America."