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White House Scramble to Get Stories Straight

Friday, October 12, 2012

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The White House scrambled Friday to explain Vice President Biden’s confusing statement that “we weren’t told” of requests for more diplomatic security in Libya, claiming he was referring only to “himself” and President Obama.

Biden, during Thursday’s debate, had made the controversial statement in response to criticism from Paul Ryan about the protection of diplomatic posts in Libya in the run-up to the Sept. 11 terror attack.

Moderator Martha Raddatz pressed him: “And they wanted more security there.”

But Biden responded: “Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security again.”

The comment drew swift rebukes from Republicans who pointed out that State Department officials just one day earlier had acknowledged they knew about, and turned down, requests for more security. Ryan, minutes later in the debate, corrected the vice president, saying “there were requests for extra security; those requests were not honored.”

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