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Did ex-White House aide's Benghazi comments conflict with former CIA director's testimony?

 

Ex-White House official Tommy Vietor’s recent comments to Fox News may conflict with statements former CIA acting director Michael Morell told Congress about the deadly Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans.

During an interview on “Special Report“ Thursday, Vietor admitted to having input into editing the talking points memo, which was used by U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to claim that the Sept. 11, 2012 attack was the result of a protest over an anti-Islamic video.

Vietor’s version of events seems to differ from the one Morell told lawmakers during a House hearing in January 2013.

During that testimony, Morell said the White House and the State Department “made five changes only, all of them, in my view, fairly insignificant.”

He also said White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes made only minor changes to emails and talking points. Morell testified that Rhodes suggested changing the word “consulate” to “diplomatic post,” and “he suggested that change for accuracy purposes, since it was technically not a consulate.”

But when pressed by Fox’s Bret Baier, Vietor said Thursday there was a possibility he added line about the administration warning the day before the attacks of “social media reports calling for demonstrations,” in order to bolster the notion that the attack was the result of a spontaneous riot and not against the video.

Vietor repeated the stance of Press Secretary Jay Carney, who has repeatedly tried to claim that the so-called "prep call" with Rice -- as it was described in one newly surfaced email -- was not about Benghazi. Vietor said the email was referring to ongoing protests around the world against American embassies. 

Baier then asked Vietor whether he personally changed the word “attack” to “demonstrations” in the talking points for Rice.

“Maybe, I don’t really remember,” Vietor said.

When pressed by Baier, Vietor said, “Dude, this was like two years ago. We're still talking about the most mundane process.”

In a written response to Fox News, Morell stood by his testimony. 

"My written testimony was clear and specific on who changed what in the CIA talking points," Morell told Fox News on Saturday. "My testimony was based on the written record, which has now been in the public domain for over a year. Mr. Vietor's recollection of what the White House changed was not accurate."

Fox News' Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.