This is what David Axelrod said about Benghazi and the President – click to read

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See the transcript below:

Fox News Sunday 11/4/2012

 

WALLACE: Before we get to the campaign, I want to ask you

about Libya. Here is what the president promised, and here’s

what he has actually done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every piece

of information that we get, as we got it, we laid it out for the

American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

WALLACE: And, that was the president, returning from a

campaign trip, and not answering a question about Benghazi.

David, simple question: did the president make a calculated

decision, to run out the clock until the election and not answer

questions about Libya?

 

AXELROD: No.

 

WALLACE: So, why hasn’t he answered questions about his

personal involvement in Libya?

 

AXELROD: The president has from the beginning, Chris –

and we’ve talked you about this before, of course — the

president has said, we want to get to the bottom of it. We want

to share it with the American people. We want to get it right.

And there are a couple of distinguished Americans,

Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen, the former head of the

Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are reviewing the whole matter, to

get to the bottom of it. Not just to find out, you know, where

things went wrong, but, how to fix it. And, so, that our

diplomats and the service people we send overseas are as safe as

they can be.

Now, they are serving in dangerous places and you cannot

eliminating risk but you want to do as much as you can. And

that’s what the president’s goal.

 

WALLACE: I understand all of the interagency issues and

that does take time. But I’m going to ask you a few

straightforward questions about the president’s personal

involvement that don’t take time, and he could answer today.

Question one: the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked

twice before the 9/11 fatal assault. In fact, in August, and

repeatedly, security officials there asked for more security,

said they felt they were vulnerable. And, the situation was so

dangerous that the British diplomats and the Red Cross pulled

out of Benghazi. Question: did the president know about that?

 

AXELROD: Chris, all I can tell you is, the president is

fully committed to the safety of his diplomats. He knew the

ambassador. He was deeply invested in his work there.

And, obviously, any steps that we needed to take, we would

have wanted to take. So, you know, I mean, I’m not in the White

House, I’m not privy to all of the discussions, but I can tell

you this: this president is 100 percent committed to the people

of — he sends overseas personally to represent this country.

He’s the one who met the coffins when they came home.

So, any suggestion that he would not take the necessary

steps to protect them, make some decision not to take the steps

to protect them, is just nonsense.

 

WALLACE: David, I understand you are not in the White

House anymore but on the other hand, you did prepare the

president and the vice president for their debates, where Libya

came up and one of the debates, the vice president said, we

weren’t told about requests for more security.

So I guess I’m asking, again, directly, did they know how

dangerous the situation in Benghazi was, beforehand, before the

attack? And, that the — security officials in Benghazi were

asking for more help?

 

AXELROD: Obviously, Benghazi was dangerous. There were

many other places in the world that are dangerous, where our

diplomats serve and where our military serves, where our

intelligence people serve.

And — but the question the vice president was asked, was

did he know about a specific request for additional security and

the answer to that was no. Those requests go — we have

230-plus facilities around the world, those requests go to the

security professionals in the State Department. And that’s what

happened in this case.

 

WALLACE: Second area. On the night of the attack, the

president met with top national security advisors, and told them

to deploy assets to the area. Question: why did he decide not

to deploy? Why not actually send those assets in, in the seven

hours between the first attack and the second attack, in

Benghazi, that night, and, the second attack, seven hours later,

two Americans were killed?

 

AXELROD: Chris, it has been reported and as the White

House has said, I think, there was another piece of it in the

paper this morning. The president convened the top military

officials that evening and told them to do whatever was

necessary. And they took the steps they thought — they took

every step they could take.

But, listen, this is exactly what this review is about.

Because, the real question here is, what went wrong, what could

have been done better, if we have to make adjustments in the

future, what adjustments should we make? That is a solemn

responsibility of the president, and, everyone who serves with

him and that’s what’s going to happen.

 

WALLACE: Finally, the president canceled campaigning for

three days — three days — to deal with hurricane Sandy and he

was praised for that. Why did he decide to go campaigning in

Las Vegas within hours after four Americans were killed in

Benghazi, in a terror attack?

 

AXELROD: Chris, as I said, immediately when word of the

attack came, the president was meeting with his top national

security folks. He was talking to them well into the night. He

was in touch with them, during the day, as — during the next

day as well.

So, there is no question about the fact that he was focused

on this.

(CROSSTALK)

 

WALLACE: But, why did he feel he could campaign within

hours after a terror attack?

 

AXELROD: Well, everything — everything was put in motion,

that he could put in motion. Everything — every conversation

that needed to be had was being had between him and his top

national security officials.

 

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