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Gibbs defends administration's response to deadly attack, says not ‘misleading’

 

A top adviser to President Obama on Sunday defended the administration for saying in the aftermath of a deadly assault on a U.S. outpost that it was not a pre-planned terrorist attack.

Campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said the answers given Sept. 16 by Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, were based on “the best information she had” and not intended to mislead the public.

"No one either intentionally or unintentionally misled anyone involved in this," Gibbs said on “Fox News Sunday.” "No one wants to get to the bottom of this more than we do."

Rice gave her responses on five Sunday morning TV talks shows, days after at least 20 attacks on U.S. outposts in the Middle East and North Africa, including one on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

She said that attack was “spontaneous” and started with an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, over an anti-Islamic film.

Gibbs, a former White House spokesman for Obama, also said he expects more information will emerge.

"As we have learned more and as this investigation continues, I would anticipate we will continue to learn more facts about the awful assassination murder of our ambassador," he told Fox.

White House spokesman Jay Carney and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton late last week acknowledged the assault in Libya was a terror attack. However, the administration has stood by its assertion that investigations so far show the attack was not pre-planned.

Gibbs also defended President Obama’s decision so far not to hold one-on-one meetings with world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week in New York while making time to appear on ABC’s “The View” daytime talk show.

“So, he has time for Whoopi Goldberg but he doesn’t have time for world leaders?" asked Fox host Chris Wallace.

Gibbs in part replied: “The White House has phones.”