Despite what you probably think, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not really blame an anti-Muslim video for the American consulate attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. What? You're sure you heard her make that claim? Well, according the proposition of CNN Correspondent Elise Labott, quoting a Clinton aide, Hillary is absolved from blaming the video for the attack because she did not use the word "spontaneous." I kid you not.
See, it was UN ambassador Susan Rice making her rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows who used the somehow taboo S-word, not Hillary. Therefore the latter didn't really blame the attack on the video because of the lack of that one word:
The emails relating to Benghazi are a fraction of all those Clinton has handed over to the State Department since leaving office. In December, she released 30,000 emails -- about 55,000 pages -- to the agency, which State Department officials say are still being reviewed. The State Department has the emails Clinton voluntarily handed over. But she kept private the server that housed them and has since wiped it clean.
...Then-ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice's appearances on Sunday morning talk shows became a lightning rod for Republicans, who criticized Clinton at the time for avoiding public statements on the controversy. Administration officials had said at the time that Clinton was exhausted after a grueling week.
On the talk shows, Rice described the attack as a protest over an anti-Muslim video, which erupted spontaneously into violence. Clinton never made that characterization, and after intense Republican charges of downplaying the attack, administration officials began to call it a "terrorist attack."
Emails between Clinton and her aides in the days following Rice's appearances and first reported by The New York Times expressed relief that she had not gone as far as Rice did in her language describing the attacks.
In an email to Clinton two weeks after the attack, Jake Sullivan, Clinton's director of policy planning and chief foreign aide at the State Department, said he had reviewed her public remarks since the attack and found she never used the language Rice did.
"You never said 'spontaneous' or characterized their motivations," he wrote to Clinton.
Although Hillary did not actually use the word "spontaneous," her speech on the Benghazi attack which was carried by CNN on September 13, 2012 clearly shows she blamed the attack on the anti-Muslim video.
The video circulating on the internet that has led to these protests in a number of countries...
But, hey, she didn't use the word "spontaneous" so in Elise Labott's world, Hillary is home free.