Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) briefed reporters after the testimony of former CIA Director David Petraeus to the House Intelligence Committee. Ruppersberger is the committee’s ranking Democrat. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) spoke to the media earlier about Petraeus’ testimony.
King said Petraeus recalled stating even in the days after the attack that there was a significant terrorist element to the attack. Lawmakers have said that Petraeus cited the anti-Islam video in the days after the attack and did not call it a planned attack.
King also said Petraeus testified that the CIA’s talking points on the Benghazi attack were different from the final set of talking points that went out from the administration.
Ruppersberger said Petraeus attempted to clarify the administration’s early statements about the Benghazi attack being the result of a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Islam video. He said that Petraeus emphasized that there were really two separate attacks that took place; one on the U.S. Consulate where Amb. Chris Stevens was killed and another on the CIA annex nearby.
According to Ruppersberger, Petraeus characterized the attack on the consulate as extremely disorganized, whereas the assault on the CIA annex appeared to be well orchestrated, using precise mortar fire.