Former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson says CBS News executives kept a clip of President Obama refusing to call the Benghazi attacks terrorism secret until after the election in order to help Obama’s re-election.
Obama was interviewed by Steve Kroft for “60 Minutes” the Sunday following the attack and said, “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved. But, obviously, it was an attack on Americans.”
That clip did not air as part of the original interview, but the full transcript was sent to the “CBS Evening News” staff.
Mitt Romney brought up during one of their 2012 presidential debates Obama’s failure for 14 days to label the attack terrorism. Attkisson said that would have been the perfect time to have brought out the clip.
Appearing Sunday on Fox News Channel’s “MediaBuzz,” Attkisson said, “That exchange, I believe, should have been pulled out immediately after the debate, which would have been very newsy at the time, It was exclusive to CBS. It would have, it appears to me, proven Romney’s point against Obama. But that clip was kept secret.”
Attkisson said she was covering Benghazi, yet no one told her about the clip, instead directing her to another clip from the same interview that made Obama sound like he had labeled the act terrorism from the beginning.
“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. We felt that there had been something very unethical had been done to have kept that up,” Attkisson said.
The “Evening News” executives had access to the complete transcript the day “60 Minutes” sent it over, said Attkisson, citing emails she says she has seen.
“They, in my view, 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.”