ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — The White House said Wednesday that President Barack Obama considers the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Libya a terrorist attack.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said it is “certainly the case that it is our view as an administration, and the president’s view, that it was a terrorist attack.” Four Americans were killed in the attack, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Carney’s comments came after Republican Mitt Romney accused Obama of failing to acknowledge what Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other officials have said — that the attacks in Benghazi were acts of terrorism against the U.S.
Obama has declined several chances to call the incident a terrorist attack. He said last week that extremists used an anti-Islam video as an excuse to assault U.S. interests.
Carney, who speaks for Obama, had himself declared the violence a terrorist attack last week.
On Capitol Hill, eight Republicans who head House committees sent a letter to Obama saying they were disturbed by statements from administration officials suggesting that the attack was a protest gone wrong rather than a terrorist attack. They said they would be willing to return to Washington from Congress’ nearly two-month recess if the administration scheduled another briefing on Libya.
Clinton and senior Pentagon and intelligence officials briefed members of the House and Senate last Thursday on Libya.