Fox Anchor Hypes Debunked Benghazi Report As “Smoking Gun”

Heather Nauert Claims New Email Contradicts Then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's Testimony That Military Forces Could Be Delayed, Even Though Panetta Had In Fact Deployed Forces

Fox News anchor Heather Nauert falsely claimed a new email was a “smoking gun” that “contradicted” previous testimony about the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks. Nauert pointed to an email, released by the right-wing organization Judicial Watch, that she claimed showed the Pentagon was able to send forces to assist while the attacks were ongoing, and that this contradicted testimony from then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that “there was no time to get forces to Libya to try to save people there.” However, Panetta in that same testimony noted several units had been deployed to assist with the attacks. From the December 9 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

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HEATHER NAUERT: And a major story to bring you right now, a possible smoking gun in the Benghazi investigation. A newly revealed email from the Pentagon to Hillary Clinton shows that the U.S. military was, in fact, prepared to respond to the Benghazi terror attacks. This email reads, quote, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.” Well that email contradicts claims by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that there was no time to get forces to Libya to try to save people there. It appears that all that was needed was a green light from the State Department. The 2012 attacks killed four Americans, including our Ambassador Chris Stevens.