Fox News is whitewashing Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) acknowledgment that the Central Intelligence Agency approved the talking points that were used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for an early assessment of the September 11 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
For two months, Fox has sought to scandalize Rice's September 16 interviews on the major Sunday news shows. During those interviews, Rice said that an investigation into the Benghazi attack was under way but that the current assessment of the intelligence community was that the attack was a reaction to a violent protest at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which was inspired by a controversial anti-Islamic film.
On Friday, Gen. David Petraeus, the former head of the CIA, offered testimony before a closed congressional hearing on the Benghazi attack and its aftermath.
In an interview immediately after that hearing explaining what Petraeus said, King said that the CIA initially wrote in its assessment that attack was connected to an Al Qaeda-affiliated group, but that point was removed during a standard review by the broader intelligence community.
King said that Petraeus testified that he was not upset that the reference to Al Qaeda was removed from the intelligence assessment before it was made public. In fact, King made clear that the CIA OK'd the assessment after the reference to Al Qaeda was removed:
Yeah, they said, “OK for it to go.”
But when Fox interviewed King, anchor Megyn Kelly made no reference to King's earlier statement making clear that Petraeus was not upset that the reference to Al Qaeda was removed from the assessment before it was made public, or that the CIA OK'd the assessment Rice relied upon.
King's comments are a fatal blow to the phony controversy over Rice's interviews: Rice never ruled out the possibility that the attack was an act of terrorism, and what she said was consistent with the public assessment approved by the intelligence community -- including the CIA.
Silence is the only way Fox can keep its scandal alive.