David Plouffe defends Obama administration’s response to attack in Libya

September 30, 2012

White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Sunday defended the Obama administration's handling of the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya, which it initially labeled a spontaneous assault but more recently said was an act of terror with links to al-Qaeda. 

"Obviously you are going to know more two weeks after an event than a week after an event," Plouffe said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

The attack in Benghazi claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Republicans have criticized the Obama administration over its handling of the matter. But Plouffe steadfastly defended it on Sunday, saying that in the days following the attack it “was not clear" it was an act of terror.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said the administration's response to the incident was "slow. It was confused. It was inconsistent."

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has called on U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to resign for initially saying the attack in Libya was spontaneous. Plouffe defended Rice, saying, "she's done a terrific job for this country, for the administration."

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan | September 30, 2012