THE FIVE

Americans intentionally misled about terror attack in Libya?

Obama administration under fire for response to Mideast violence

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," September 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRIAN KILMEADE, GUEST CO-HOST: All right. Hey, is the terror attack in Libya becoming a political scandal for White House? On "Fox News Sunday," Chris Wallace, pressed former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about it. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Why did Ambassador Rice give the American people bad information?

ROBERT GIBBS, OBAMA CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Well, I think as you heard Ambassador Rice say the best information that we had at the point which she gave that answer is the answer she gave. You saw the White House say this was a terror attack. And nobody wants to get to the bottom of this more than the president and the secretary of state so that we can protect our missions and our consulates throughout the world and remain engaged.

Absolutely no one -- intentionally or unintentionally -- misled anybody involved in this. Absolutely not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KILMEADE: Stephen Hayes from The Weekly Standard among many who disagree. Listen to what he wrote. He writes, quote, "For more than a week, the Obama administration misled the country about what happened. This isn't just a problem, it is a scandal."

Dana, how do you read it?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Well, as former spokesperson, I think I would have refused to go out on the Sunday shows on this past weekend because there is -- as a former person, you don't know what you don't know. There was misleading, whether it was intentional or not, something happened where the administration for 10 days said one thing and it turns out to be the other.

And they tried to blow that off.

The other thing is -- I wonder where the director of national intelligence is, where is the National Security Council?

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: They are happy to be quoted in the New York Times when they take the victory laps but they won't come on to talk about what they knew or what they did not know, which is the more important question and what they're doing to try to find out about it. I would have refused to go on.

KILMEADE: You know, on top of that, Eric, Senator Levin whose heart is probably the most hard right, left guy in the Senate, says -- asked if it was planned, he said it looks like it was. Democrat Congressman Adam Smith of the House Intelligence Committee said it's not just a mob that got out of hand.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Right.

KILMEADE: So, the Democrats don't especially buy the storyline. Bigger story today than on 9/11.

BOLLING: Not even a storyline, Brian. It's all politics. They're coming up with three things, number one, President Obama went to Vegas to pick up a check we talked about earlier, just hours after Ambassador Stevens was killed, hours after.

Number two, it's clear that it's been reported even the interim president of Libya said it's a preplanned attack. It's not because of 9/11 -- 9/11 is symbolic. The preplanned attack was a retaliation from all the victory laps that the Obama administration has done over bin Laden. We killed bin Laden. We killed bin Laden.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: So, they punch us. The problem is we don't punch back. Number three, complete lack of failure of information leading up to the death of the ambassador.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: There should be headlines screaming scandal. I agree with Steven Hayes. This is outrageous. Everyone knew it. We have to sit there and act like everyone is stupid and sitting in the dunce row?

I mean, that's ridiculous. Everyone overseas has been writing about it. It's very obvious if anyone has common sense or intelligence about how these things go down in Middle East, that this is something planned and coordinated. Not sitting around having like they said.

KILMEADE: Right. The underwear bomber, we remember, he was about to land in Michigan and he's isolated extremist. It turns out he was trained by Al Qaeda. And there was a plan in place.

The Fort Hood shooter, workplace violence, but we find out that he was writing to al-Awlaki as a regular correspondence.

Bob, the administration for eight years let us know it's more than generation of war on terror. It won't be over in eight years or 12 years. Why is the administration afraid of the war?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Brian, listen, I'm not trying to pat myself back, but the day this happened, I said that this was a terrorist attack.

GUILFOYLE: You did say that.

BECKEL: It was clear it was terrorist attack based on just the obvious in my own experience in the intelligence community.

But leaving that aside, I don't think this is a scandal. I think it's scandalous the way it played out politically. I mean, I would never have let Rice say these things.

GUILFOYLE: Bob, if it's so obvious and you know it, why did the administration, clueless, have no idea and lie to everybody and insult us?

BECKEL: Here's the difference -- I don't think they lied.

GUILFOYLE: You just said it was so obvious.

BECKEL: No, no, I thought it was obvious, yes.

GUILFOYLE: So you only get it, but they don't. So why are they in charge? Why do they have the office?

BECKEL: Because what they did was, she stepped out without having the intelligence she needed to have. She shouldn't have done it. And at the minimum, what they should have said was, it could have been, it could have not been, we don't know the answer.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Hold on, are you trying to say that Ambassador Rice wrote her own script for that?

BECKEL: Not at all.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I'm saying that from a political standpoint, that is scandalous.

BOLLING: But the problem is, Bob, prior to her saying that, we have the interim president, I can't remember his name, the Libyan interim president, saying it was preplanned. Subsequent to that, they came out and said, well, it's obvious, self-evident it was preplanned.

BECKEL: We all figured out that this was self planned. There's no way to take it to court of law and prove it.

GUILFOYLE: He just did the party line. Now you're walking it back, Bob.

KILMEADE: Bob, I think you are confused as we are.

So, you bring us inside an administration. Why is it to the administration's benefit to be so confused?

PERINO: Well, it certainly helped them with the press, because do you see on the front page of every -- you don't see it. It's not constant. They're talking about everything else, and President Obama gets to be on "The View."

KILMEADE: But, Dana, it's still alive today. CBS is reporting it.

PERINO: CBS has done good reporting and so has Reuters on this. I don't think they should let up. I don't think they will.

The facts should take us where they take us. The politics set aside if they believe that the people will vote on this and they're going to vote on the economy. Which president could be better, Romney or Obama? Fine.

Then let's just be honest about what happened.

GUILFOYLE: They covered it up.

BOLLING: But The Times is running the climate change in Greenland.

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: They want to win. They want to keep the White House. And if they epic fail on the part of the State Department --

KILMEADE: It's the first time Kimberly has yelled to me on camera, you are actually yelling at me.

GUILFOYLE: I'm mad. Fired up.

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