- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 1, 2014

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday dismissed newly unveiled communications suggesting the White House helped shape the public message that blamed a video for the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

“What I will say is, again, diversion, subterfuge: Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. Why aren’t we talking about something else?” she said at her weekly press briefing. “Whatever was in that — what I know of what I’ve read in the press about those emails was very consistent with what was put out there before. I don’t think there’s anything new there.”

Mrs. Pelosi made the remarks on the same day the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on the attack that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens.


SEE ALSO: House GOP: Obama withholding Benghazi email is ‘criminal’


House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, said at the hearing that it was “perhaps criminal” of the White House to withhold information surrounding the attacks.

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, echoed the White House’s line that the information was not turned over despite a subpoena because it wasn’t specifically about Benghazi. The information was obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch through an open-records request.

She said the public would be better served by more focus on issues like raising the minimum wage, immigration reform, and reinstating unemployment insurance benefits.

“We want to be everybody on the same side of the American people, and that is why many of us do what we do to engage in the political process because of the policy that makes a difference to the American people,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

“It’s going to be an exciting debate, and if you all want to sit around and talk about Benghazi, you can sit around and talk about Benghazi. But the fact is, that’s a subterfuge that they don’t want to talk about — jobs, growth, immigration reform, voting rights, you name it,” she said.