FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Thursday, September 13, 2012

INSTANT FACT CHECK: Did President Obama "Call Libyan President To Thank Him After U.S. Ambassador Murdered", As Fox News' Website Claims?

Fox News' free-for-all website "Fox Nation" is amplifying a new scream pinging around the internet today, as shown by their headline:

Obama Calls Libyan President to Thank Him After US Ambassador Murdered


Nothing like making it appear that our President called Libya's President to thank him for permitting the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other Americans who were killed.

Here is the complete statement from the White House on Barack Obama's call to Mohamed Magariaf
last night:

President Obama called President Mohamed Magariaf of Libya this evening, their first conversation since President Magariaf’s election last month. President Obama thanked President Magariaf for extending his condolences for the tragic deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, and two other State Department officers in Benghazi yesterday. He also expressed appreciation for the cooperation we have received from the Libyan government and people in responding to this outrageous attack, and said that the Libyan government must continue to work with us to assure the security of our personnel going forward. The President made it clear that we must work together to do whatever is necessary to identify the perpetrators of this attack and bring them to justice. The two Presidents agreed to work closely over the course of this investigation. The President reaffirmed our support for Libya’s democratic transition, a cause Ambassador Stevens believed in deeply and did so much to advance. He welcomed the election of a new prime minister yesterday to help lead the Libyan government’s efforts to improve security, counter extremism, and advance its democracy.
I have added emphasis to make clearer what the thanks were for.  Contrast this with the statement issued simultaneously, summarizing Barack Obama's call with the Egyptian President: even though it notes at the end that Morsi expressed condolences, it does not indicate that Obama thanked him for it.

Fox News did not word that headline itself, although the website is clearly made to look like it is part of the Fox news operation.  Also, the Fox News video embedded clearly states that the President was offering thanks for the condolences and not for the killings.

Nevertheless, Arizona's Politics felt that the Fox Nation item is highly misleading and is likely to be widely circulated.  Thus, a Fact Check circulating the actual statements should be out there, too.

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