Former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson is accusing her old network of sitting on a 2012 video clip that could have hurt President Barack Obama‘s re-election chances.
While plugging her new book, “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington,” Attkisson told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that Obama wrongly stated in a presidential debate with GOP challenger Mitt Romney that he initially called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror.”
In an unprecedented move, CNN’s Candy Crowley, the debate moderator, sided with the president by inaccurately saying Obama used the term, “act of terror,” in his Rose Garden remarks the day after the attack, though he was not specifically referencing Benghazi.
It was a pivotal moment in the debate, and CBS had video of a timely “60 Minutes” interview where Obama admitted he did not call the attack an act of terror.
“What happened was, there was actually a hidden interview that CBS News had with the president the same day he made the Rose Garden speech,” Attkisson said.
“60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft even suggested the president avoided using the word “terrorism,” and Obama replied, “Right,” saying it was too early to tell.
“We were sitting on a clip that appeared to prove President Obama’s version was wrong and Romney’s version was correct. I didn’t know that tape existed. We weren’t even told of it,” Attkisson told Smerconish. “I was directed by the New York office to use a different clip, which I felt, in retrospect, was entirely out of context and used in a way that appeared to defend the president’s version rather than presenting the sound bite that would have shown that Romney was perhaps correct.”
It was a telling anecdote.
Attkisson also defended herself against some media critics’ accusations that she only goes after Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton.
“You describe yourself as being politically agnostic,” Smerconish said of her book. “Critics say, ‘Yes, but all of her big hits are taking down Democrats: Hillary, with regard to gunfire in Bosnia, Fast and Furious, now Benghazi.'”
Attkisson said the facts don’t support the criticism, noting that she won two Emmy Awards for investigations involving Republicans.
“So the factual record is different from the narrative that some are trying to advance today,” she said.
Watch the exchange here via CNN:
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