Hill lawmaker: scene outside consulate in Benghazi like a 'street party in Miami'

Key lawmakers sound off


House lawmakers say video they reviewed Wednesday from the fatal Libya consulate attack shows looters leaving the charred and smoking U.S. facility in Benghazi with “Xboxes” and “suits on hangers.”

“It was very difficult to watch,” Rep. Thomas Rooney, R-Fla., said after the classified meeting on Capitol Hill led by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. “It was almost like a street party.”

Rooney, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the video of the scene outside the consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 clearly shows no organized demonstration, as Obama administration officials originally suggested.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the terror attacks.

Instead of the angry mob Romney expected to see in the security tapes, he said he saw people with “no sense of urgency” making their way through the consulate’s living quarters, taking stuff and lighting the facility on fire. Rooney also said guns were being fired.

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Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said five days after the attacks that they were “spontaneous” and appeared to be sparked by earlier protests over an anti-Islamic video.

White House officials defended Rice, saying she was working off the unclassified talking points given to her, but they also have acknowledged the attacks were terror related. And Rice has since said she gave out incorrect information.

A lawmaker who also saw the video Wednesday but asked not to be identified told Fox News the scene looked like "a street party in Miami."

“They're dancing around,” the lawmaker continued. "You see them walking out with Xboxes. One guy comes out carrying suits on hangers."

Rep. Jan Schakowksy, an Illinois Democrat and a member of the chamber’s Intelligence Committee, said lawmakers saw a compilation of what appeared to be an evolving situation and that what started the attack remains unclear.

She said Clapper told the lawmakers in the closed-door meeting that people are trying to put the event into black-and-white terms, but it’s not that simple because there were several possible factors motivating the attack -- including the 9/11 anniversary, the video and an earlier demonstration in Cairo.