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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact Florida: Rubio said there was never evidence that the attacks on Benghazi were spontaneous



U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio portrayed Hillary Clinton as lying about the circumstances of the Benghazi attack when she said the attacks were the result of an anti-Muslim video instead of al-Qaida-like terrorists.

"There was not a single person on the ground in Benghazi who believed that it was a spontaneous uprising," he said in an interview on CNN on Oct. 29, 2015.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Rubio how it could be a lie if the CIA told Clinton it was due to a demonstration.

Rubio replied: "She consistently, privately told people, over and over again, including in the early aftermath of it, that this was led by al-Qaida-like elements. There was never a single shred of evidence presented to anyone that this was spontaneous, and in fact, the CIA themselves understood that early on, irrespective of what the administration is telling you now."

We wanted to fact-check what Rubio said about what the CIA understood, drawing on the seven congressional investigations that followed, as well as news articles provided by Rubio and testimony by officials that the Clinton campaign sent us.

What we found is a very murky situation. It seems like there were indications early on that the attacks were not the result of simple protests. But also early on, some in the government did seem to think that demonstrations over an anti-Muslim video were a factor. That constitutes something of a "shred," contrary to what Rubio said.

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[Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 5:05pm]


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