WASHINGTON – Michele Bachmann waded back into national politics today after a close re-election last week, accusing President Barack Obama’s administration of giving contradictory statements about the terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya where four Americans were killed.
In a lengthy statement issued by her office, Bachmann, who sits on the House Select Permanent Intelligence Committee, stuck to a core set of criticisms against the Obama administration leveled by Republicans. But unlike Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, Bachmann did not call out U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, whom the two senators accused of intentionally misleading the public in TV appearances as to whether terrorists were behind the attack.
Obama and other administration officials have strongly defended Rice, who’s considered a potential candidate to be the next Secretary of State, arguing that her comments reflected a consensus view of the intelligence community at the time.
Bachmann also accused the White House of embracing a “false narrative” that the attacks were the result of a riot motivated by an anti-Islamic internet video produced in the U.S. rather than an act of terrorism. Obama pushed back against this accusation in a presidential debate with Mitt Romney, noting that he had called the attack an “act of terror” in a White House address that very day.
Bachmann’s comments came after testimony Friday from David Petraeus, the former general and CIA director who resigned abruptly last week due to an affair with his biographer.
Like other Republicans, Bachmann called for a more wide-ranging investigation into “what the President knew and what his actions were.”
Bachmann has kept a low profile and declined interview requests since barely edging out her DFL rival Jim Graves by a little more than 4,000 votes in the heavily Republican 6th District. When approached by MPR News for a comment after today’s hearing for a reaction to Petraeus’s testimony, Bachmann would only say she was “disappointed,” and a spokesman said she was not doing media interviews for now.