White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today said President Obama acted against Libya without prior approval from Congress because waiting would have cost lives.
Had we waited for Congress to act … there is no doubt in our minds that Qaddafi’s forces would have controlled Benghazi and there would have been a great deal of people killed in the process.
In an off-camera “gaggle” with reporters today at the White House, Carney sought to push back on all fronts against criticism of the administration’s handling of the Libya operation.
According to POLITICO’s notes from the gaggle, which I was not able to attend:
“The president believes that consultations with Congress are important,” Carney says, deftly. “He has done that, and he’s instructed senior staff here to do that. And we have.”
“I want people to be aware of the variety of ways in hearings and in briefings where senior people have been informing members of Congress,” he continues.
Carney then rattles off a long list of meetings, classified briefings and committee hearings that White House officials have had with members of Congress.
Some of those include a March 1 closed briefing with Senate members, March 2 testimony by Defense Secretary Robert Gates Adm. Mike Mullen and March 2 testimony by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “The list goes on,” Carney says . . .
“The questions that have been outlined by members of Congress, by and large, have been answered,” Carney says.
Carney insisted Obama has explained his position on Libya and would continue to do so.
You’ll be hearing from the president on this with relative frequency and relatively soon
Asked if Obama would consider a prime time address, Carney asserted that’s “not the question here.”