Fox News hyped a new poll commissioned by the network to push the false claim that President Obama failed to order troops to respond to attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, in an attempt to bolster its falsehood-laden narrative about the attack.
On July 26, Fox & Friends First aired a graphic showing the results of a Fox News poll, paraphrasing a question which said that Obama “didn't send troops to help Americans in Benghazi ” and asked “should he have”:
The full question from the Fox News poll read:
On the night of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, President Obama did not order U.S. troops to go in and help Americans at the consulate there. Do you think the president should have sent troops, or not?
Co-host Heather Nauert claimed the poll disproved that the events that occurred in Benghazi and the subsequent Fox-led scandal mongering was nothing more than pushing “phony scandals,” as she alleged Obama asserted in a June 25 speech.
However, the poll question itself and its subsequent hyping by Fox News substantiates Obama's claim about “phony scandals” that are distracting Washington. As then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified in a February 7 Senate hearing, Obama ordered him and General Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to "[d]o whatever you need to do to be able to protect our people there" on the night of the Benghazi attacks. Following that exchange between Panetta and Obama, and before the attacks were over, Panetta ordered two anti-terrorism security teams stationed in Spain to deploy to Libya and another special operations team to deploy to the region. Unfortunately, the forces arrived after the attacks were over.
In June, Fox similarly trumpeted the results of a similarly misleading Fox News poll question that asked respondents why “President Obama did not order US troops to help Americans in Benghazi.” According to the graphic aired on Fox & Friends, respondents were asked if Obama did not order the response because he “didn't want to risk [the] election,” or if he “believed nothing could be done.” Respondents were also given the option of saying they were “unsure.” In May, Fox hyped its poll that asked: “Do you think President Obama could have done more to help the Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on the night of the attack.”