From a logical standpoint, it was pretty obvious that Republicans were the source of the inaccurate Benghazi talking point emails reported last Friday by ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl, but when the actual emails surfaced, Karl did not acknowledge who his sources were.
Now, thanks to Major Garrett of CBS News, we have explicit confirmation that Republicans were behind the false leaks. Garrett reports (my emphasis):
Republicans have charged that the State Department under Hillary Clinton was trying to protect itself from criticism. The White House released the real emails late Wednesday. Here’s what we found when we compared them to the quotes that had been provided by Republicans.
Garrett highlights emails by White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. According to Republicans, the emails showed that the White House had executed a coverup not just of the fact that terrorists had conducted the Benghazi attack, but also that the CIA had warned the State Department that al Qaeda was planning the attack.
The reality is that even if the Republicans transcript of the emails had been accurate, it wouldn’t have been a smoking gun to prove their claim that Benghazi is a bona fide scandal. Ironically, now that we know Republicans fabricated the emails, there actually is a scandal worth pursuing: the story of how Republicans dishonestly exploited a national security tragedy to score political points.