RNC Chair: Obama ‘sympathizes with attackers’

September 12, 2012

In a tweet just after midnight Wednesday morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus suggested not only that the Obama administration had responded to the attacks in Egypt and Libya with sympathy  -- as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney argued -- but that President Obama himself personally sympathizes with the attackers.

Priebus' words came before the White House confirmed that the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats had been killed. 

Both accusations are based on a statement from the Cairo embassy, released before the attacks, which condemned "the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims." (Protesters were spurred by clips of an anti-Muslim film.) 

The Obama administration has distanced itself from that statement, saying it was not approved by Washington and "doesn’t reflect the views of the U.S. government.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attacks in a statement Tuesday night; Obama released a statement condemning them Wednesday morning. While the Cairo embassy statement remains online, it was taken off the embassy homepage and embassy staff have deleted tweets, issued after the breach, that defended the comments. 

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Rachel Weiner · September 12, 2012