Republicans — and our Fact Checker — dinged Vice President Biden for claiming Thursday night that the White House was unaware of requests for more security from officials in Libya.
A spokesman tells Foreign Policy magazine that Biden was telling the truth — he just wasn’t speaking for the whole administration. The president and vice president, Deputy National Security Adviser for Communications Ben Rhodes said, were unaware of the concerns.
The State Department security officials who testified before House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa‘s panel Wednesday never said they had made their requests to the president, Rhodes pointed out. That would be natural because the State Department is responsible for diplomatic security, not the White House, he said. Rhodes also pointed out that the officials were requesting more security in Tripoli, not Benghazi.
White House spokesman Jay Carney made the same point in Friday’s White House Briefing. The vice president “was speaking directly for himself and for the president,” he said. “He meant the White House.”
Romney addressed Biden’s comments at a rally in Richmond, Va., Friday afternoon. When the vice president “directly contradicts sworn testimony” of government officials, he said, Americans “have a right to know what’s going on.”