(WASHINGTON) -- After months of demands from Republicans in Congress, the White House has released emails related to statements by the administration in the days after the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
The emails confirm an ABC News report that the so-called “talking points” written by the CIA on the attack underwent extensive revisions -- 12 versions -- and that substantial changes were made after the State Department expressed concerns.
The early versions of the talking points, drafted entirely by the CIA, included references to the al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Sharia and to previous CIA warnings about terror threats in Benghazi. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland expressed concerns about including those references in the talking points.
In one email, as previously reported by ABC News, Nuland said that including the CIA warnings “could be used by Members [of Congress] to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings so why do we want to feed that? Concerned …”
After some changes were made, Nuland was still not satisfied.
“These don’t resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership,” Nuland wrote.
A senior administration official said that Deputy CIA Director Mike Morrell agreed with Nuland’s concerns and made the changes himself. There is no email record, however, showing that Morrell shared Nuland’s concerns.
All 12 versions of the talking points, as previously reported by ABC News, show that the attack in Benghazi was "spontaneously inspired by protest in Cairo.” In other words, all the talk of protests -- which proved to be wrong -- started with the CIA. What changed was the context: removing the CIA saying that they believed Ansar al-Sharia took part in the attack and that they had warned of the terror threat.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio