CBS's Crawford Exposes Obama's Deception on Benghazi Attack

On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Jan Crawford devoted a full story to President Obama's deceptive claim that he called the Benghazi attack an "act of terror" early on, as she recounted the administration's initial reluctance to call it a terrorist attack. The CBS correspondent also implicated debate moderator and CNN anchor Candy Crowley in bolstering Obama's distortion.

After showing a clip of Obama and Romney clashing over whether Obama had used the words "act of terror" early on, Crawford showed a clip of what the President said the day after the Benghazi attack, but then exposed Obama's revisionism:

But with that statement, Mr. Obama didn't directly say the Libya attack qualified as one of those acts of terror. Earlier in his remarks, he seemed to suggest the attacks instead were triggered by an anti-Muslim video.

After another clip of Obama, she continued:

Top administration officials, including U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, delivered that message over the next five days. On Face the Nation, Rice suggested the Benghazi incident might have been triggered by demonstrations in Cairo over the film.

Then came a clip of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice:

It began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo.

Crawford then noted Crowley's willingness to accept Obama's explanation:

JAN CRAWFORD: And for two weeks the President declined to call it terrorism, but debate moderator Candy Crowley accepted the President's interpretation last night, telling Romney-

CANDY CROWLEY, DEBATE MODERATOR AND CNN ANCHOR: He did, in fact, sir, so let me, let me call it an act of terror- (INAUDIBLE)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror.

Crawford relayed disappointment by Republicans that Romney did not challenge Crowley as the CBS correspondent concluded the report:

Now, many Republicans say they think that Romney missed a real opportunity last night to forcefully challenge Crowley and the President over what they say, Scott, is a new timeline that just doesn't square with the facts.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Wednesday, October 17, CBS Evening News:

SCOTT PELLEY: Governor Romney went after the President last night on the subject of the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Jan Crawford is with the Romney campaign tonight. Jan?

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, Scott, for weeks Republicans have said the President's reluctance to call the attacks terrorism is a sign his administration doesn't have a competent national security policy. Last night, the President said he did call it an act of terror within 24 hours of the attacks. That is a new explanation, and it triggered a clash between the President, Romney, and the debate moderator.

FORMER GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY (R-MA): I think it's interesting the President just said something which is that on the day after the attack, you went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror. You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror? It was not a spontaneous demonstration? Is that what you're saying?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Please proceed, Governor.

ROMNEY: All right, I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CRAWFORD: The transcript of the President's comments in the Rose Garden the day after the attacks shows he does use those words.

OBAMA: No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.

CRAWFORD: But with that statement, Mr. Obama didn't directly say the Libya attack qualified as one of those acts of terror. Earlier in his remarks, he seemed to suggest the attacks instead were triggered by an anti-Muslim video.

OBAMA: We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.

CRAWFORD: Top administration officials, including U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, delivered that message over the next five days. On Face the Nation, Rice suggested the Benghazi incident might have been triggered by demonstrations in Cairo over the film.

SUSAN RICE, AMBASSADOR THE THE UNITED NATIONS: It began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo.

CRAWFORD: And for two weeks the President declined to call it terrorism, but debate moderator Candy Crowley accepted the President's interpretation last night, telling Romney-

CANDY CROWLEY, DEBATE MODERATOR AND CNN ANCHOR: He did, in fact, sir, so let me, let me call it an act of terror- (INAUDIBLE)

OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror.

CRAWFORD: Now, many Republicans say they think that Romney missed a real opportunity last night to forcefully challenge Crowley and the President over what they say, Scott, is a new timeline that just doesn't square with the facts.