The upshot of the video below, from a Senate hearing earlier today: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta discussed the situation in Benghazi, Libya, with President Obama on Sept. 11. But there wasn’t a lot of interaction. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) asked Panetta, “Did he ever call you that night to say, ‘How are things going, what’s going on, where’s the consulate?’ ”
No, answered Panetta, though he noted that Defense Department officials were aware that the information they received was being passed along to the White House. To the question of whether Panetta communicated with other White House officials on that fateful night, the defense secretary answered no.
In November the Defense Department issued a timeline of Benghazi events, and it includes a White House meeting between President Obama, Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey. That meeting went down about an hour after the Benghazi attack started and was previously scheduled.
That said, the Panetta testimony adds some dimension to our understanding of Benghazi. Before deciding how outraged we should be, the Erik Wemple Blog resolves to catch the relevant “Hannity” segment on Fox News tonight.