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October 10th, 2012
09:10 AM ET

Rep. Chaffetz says he "absolutely" voted to cut funding for embassy security

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) criticizes the handling of Libyan consulate security despite voting to cut embassy funding.

Rep. Chaffetz says, “I think what we’re going to hear is that we didn’t meet the basic, minimum standards required for a facility such as the one we had in Benghazi. And the request for more security personnel went unheeded, unanswered, and consequently, you know, you have the death of four Americans. We [have to] make sure that that doesn’t happen again in Libya. But we also [have to] make sure it doesn’t happen in other places around the world…. We [have to] get at the truth, but thus far it’s been a slippery attempt to try to get the truth because the White House and the Obama administration’s been very slow in giving us the facts.”

Later in the interview, CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien asks, “Is it true that you voted to cut the funding for embassy security?”

Chaffetz answers, “Absolutely. Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have… 15,0000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in touch economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.”

O’Brien responds, “Okay, so you’re prioritizing. So, when there are complaints that, in fact, that there was not enough security, you just said, ‘absolutely,’ that you cut, you were the one to vote against to increase security for the State Department, which would lead directly to Benghazi. That seems like you’re saying you have a hand in the responsibility to this. The funding of the security? How am I wrong?”

Rep. Chaffetz says, “When you’re in Libya, after a revolution… you [have to] prioritize things. And what clearly didn’t happen is Libya was not a priority. I believe what I heard is that it’s because they wanted the appearance of normalization. That’s what they wanted. And that fit with Obama narrative moving forward.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.


Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
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