We're hearing new information about the terrorist attack in Libya from a man who got a firsthand account of it on Friday.
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-2 nd District) heard testimony from the now retired general David Petraeus.
Ruppersberger is the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which is trying to get to the bottom of what led to the deaths of four Americans in Libya.
Petreaus was the head of the CIA at the time of the attack, but has since stepped down after revelations surfaced that he had an affair with his biographer. He testified at a closed door meeting on Friday.
“What people don't realize is there were two different attacks,” Rep. Ruppersberger said.
Two attacks -- the first at the U.S. consulate, then at a CIA annex some four miles away.
The question Republicans have been asking -- why didn't the president come out and call it a terrorist attack right away.
“They now clearly believe it did not arise out of a demonstration, it was not spontaneous, and it was clear terrorist involvement,” said Rep. Peter King (R-New York).
Ruppersberger agrees -- adding that it was David Petraeus who initially indicated the attack grew out of a protest, then changed the story when he got more information.
“We need to deal with what happened in Benghazi, we need to make sure that we follow the facts, if somebody made a mistake they need to be held accountable. That's important. But we have to move on,” Rep. Ruppersberger said.
Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens died in the Benghazi attacks. The congressman says the hearings have indicated to him that that number could have been much higher.
“They had about seven people who actually came to help them and they were able to get the people out of the area where the first attack occurred, the consulate, to get them to the annex and eventually get them to safety,” he said.
Congressman Ruppersberger says it would not have been proper for the FBI to inform the president about Petraeus’ affair any earlier than they did.
He also said Petreaus did not change his account of what happened in Benghazi based on the presidential election.
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