During his first presidential news conference since June, President Barack Obama was pressed by Fox News’ Ed Henry to say whether he issued any “orders” to attempt to protect American lives in Benghazi as the Sept. 11 terrorist attack was underway.
Following up on ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, Henry posed the following loaded question:
“I wanted to ask about the families of these four Americans who were killed. Sean Smith’s father Ray said he believes his son basically called 911 for help and they didn’t get it. And I know you said you grieve for these four Americans, that it is being investigated, but the families have been waiting for more than two months. So I would like for you to address the families, if you can. On 9/11, as Commander-in-Chief, did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives?”
Henry and Karl were the only two reporters to ask about Benghazi.
“Ed, I’ll address the families not through the press. I’ll address the families directly, as I already have,” Obama replied. “And we will provide all the information that is available about what happened on that day. That’s what the investigation is for.”
Without providing a yes or no answer, the president went after his critics who question whether the U.S. government did everything it could to save the Americans under attack in Benghazi.
“If people don’t think that we did everything we can to make sure that we saved the lives of folks who I sent there, and who were carrying out missions on behalf of the United States, then you don’t know how our Defense Department thinks or our State Department thinks or our CIA thinks,” Obama said. “Their number one priority is obviously to protect American lives.”
As Henry raised his hand to follow up, Obama interrupted him and continued with his answer.
“I can can tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger, that my orders to my national security team were do whatever we need to do to make sure they’re safe. And that’s the same order I would give any time that I see Americans are in danger — whether they’re civilian or military — because that’s our number one priority.”
Let us know what you think in the comment section below. Did Obama answer Henry’s question?