Politico reports that the Obama White House held an off the record meeting with
their political strategists the media this afternoon to discuss the Benghazi investigation.
The White House held a “deep background” briefing with reporters on Friday afternoon to discuss recent revelations about the Benghazi investigation, sources familiar with the meeting tell POLITICO.
The meeting was conducted on “deep background,” according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, but sources told POLITICO that the existence of the meeting was “off the record.” The meeting began around 12:45 p.m. and postponed the daily, on-the-record White House press briefing until mid-afternoon.
The session was announced to reporters in the wake of an ABC News report showing that White House and State Dept. officials were involved in revising the now-discredited CIA talking points about the attack on Benghazi.
Emails obtained by ABC News show that State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland requested that the CIA scrub references to an Al Qaeda-linked group, which, Nuland told White House officials, “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings.”
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to the meeting as “off the record.” Though the existence of the meeting was off the record, it was conducted on “deep background.”
UPDATE (3:05 p.m.): I asked Earnest to explain the meaning of “deep background,” as defined by the White House, for my readers. He emails:
Deep background means that the info presented by the briefers can be used in reporting but the briefers can’t be quoted.
Hmmm. Someone must be on to something if the Obama White House is calling a special meeting with their comrades in the media. Look for the media to all be singing the same tune by the time the Sunday shows roll around.