Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson said in a Fox News appearance that her former CBS News bosses purposely hid a clip of President Obama refusing to call the Benghazi attacks an act of terrorism in order to help him get re-elected.
Mr. Obama told Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” the Sunday after the attack, “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved. But obviously, it was an attack on Americans.”
The clip didn’t air, though the transcript with that portion was sent to “CBS Evening News” staff, Ms. Attkisson told Fox.
Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, took Mr. Obama to task during a presidential debate for his failure to call the attack an act of terror for 14 days — a perfect, and missed, opportunity for CBS to air the clip, Ms. Attkisson said.
“That exchange, I believe, should have been pulled out immediately after the debate, which would have been very newsy at the time,” she said. “It was exclusive to CBS. It would have, it appears to me, proven Romney’s point against Obama. But that clip was kept secret.”
Ms. Attkisson said she was covering Benghazi at the time, yet no one at CBS advised her to use that clip from Mr. Obama as part of her coverage. Instead, she was directed to use other clips that showed Mr. Obama suggesting he had called the attack an act of terror from the very beginning, she said.
“And it was only right before the election that somebody kind of leaked out the transcript to others of us at CBS and we were really shocked,” Ms. Attkisson said during the interview. “We felt that … something very unethical had been done.”
Executives at CBS “skipped over it, passed it up, kept it secret throughout the whole time when it would have been relevant to the news,” she said.
“And I think that was because they were trying to defend the president and they thought that would be harmful to him.”