Kudlow: What Did White House Know and When?

Wednesday, 26 Sep 2012 | 6:47 PM ET

According to GOP leaders, the White House knew the Libya attack was an act of terrorism 24 hours after it happend, and chose to deliberately mislead the American people for weeks.

A vehicle sits smoldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012
STR | AFP | Bloomberg
A vehicle sits smoldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012

So says, Sen. Ron Johnson, (R) Wisconsin, one of eight Republicans who fired off a letter to President Obama saying they were disturbed by statements from administration officials suggesting that the attack was a protest gone wrong rather than a terrorist attack.

“Attacking our consulate – if that’s not hostility toward America I don’t know what is. I think it’s pretty apparent the administration must have known,” said Johnson on The Kudlow Report.

However, following events on September 11th, Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on television and said the attacks were not premeditated. Instead she suggested the the attack was most likely spontaneous, in response to a film that depicts Islam in an unflattering light.

“We are calling on Ambassador Rice to explain the inaccuracies in her statements,” said Johnson. “It was apparent it was a pre-planned attack yet the Ambassador came on TV and misled the American public.”

GOP Demands Libya Details from White House
Eight Republicans including Sen. Ron Johnson, (R) Wisconsin have sent a letter to President Obama charging that the White House misled the American public after the Libya attacks. Johnson talks with Larry Kudlow.

Making the allegations all the more heated, Johnson and other Republicans believe the White House had intelligence that the violence was a terror attack as soon as 24 hours after it happened.

Yet, for over a week, Republicans charge the White House deliberately kept the public in the dark. Not until September 20th, they say, did the White House begin to use the language 'terror attack.'

“We found out far more in a New York Times article than in the briefing.”

The GOP outcry comes after published reports suggested a terrorist group may have been planning the assault for months.

According to Reuters, there were indications that members of a militant faction calling itself Ansar al Sharia - which translates as Supporters of Islamic Law - may have organized the attack in response to a drone attack earlier in the year.

In response, White House spokesman Jay Carney said it is "certainly the case that it is our view as an administration, and the president's view, that it was a terrorist attack."

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  • Lawrence Kudlow is a CNBC senior contributor. Previously, Kudlow was anchor of CNBC's prime-time program "The Kudlow Report"