Former CIA Director David Petraeus said in closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee today that he knew from the beginning that the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi were a terrorist strike, according to the Associated Press and other reports.
Petraeus told lawmakers that the original CIA “talking points” about the assault said it was a terrorist attack, but that after other federal departments reviewed the document, the assessment was removed.
But Petraeus said the change was not made for political reasons and that there was no White House interference, according to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who sits on the Intelligence panel.
Nevertheless, Petraeus’s testimony will put pressure on the White House to explain why it continued for many days after the attack to insist that the best evidence showed the incident arose from an anti-Muslim video.
UN Ambassador Susan Rice apparently used the revised talking points five days after the attack when she went on TV and said the assault stemmed from a spontaneous reaction to the video.