The State Department announced that they will not be fact checking the New York Times report about Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The roughly 300 emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private account that were turned over last month to a House committee investigating the attack showed the secretary and her aides closely monitoring the fallout from the tragedy, which threatened to damage her image and reflect poorly on the State Department.
They provided no evidence that Mrs. Clinton, as the most incendiary Republican attacks have suggested, issued a “stand down” order to halt American forces responding to the violence in Benghazi, or took part in a broad cover-up of the administration’s response, according to senior American officials.
But they did show that Mrs. Clinton’s top aides at times corresponded with her about State Department matters from their personal email accounts, raising questions about her recent assertions that she made it her practice to email aides at their government addresses so the messages would be preserved, in compliance with federal record-keeping regulations.
The emails have not been made public, and The New York Times was not permitted to review them. But four senior government officials offered descriptions of some of the key messages, on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to jeopardize their access to secret information.
On Sept. 16, five days after the attack, Ms. Rice appeared on several Sunday news programs, including ABC’s “This Week,” to offer the administration’s view on the attack. Some conservatives suggested that Ms. Rice took on the role of public spokeswoman in those first few days after the attacks so that Mrs. Clinton could duck the controversy. (Ms. Rice has said that Mrs. Clinton declined to appear because she was tired after a grueling week.)
The emails do not settle that question, the senior officials said. But they do suggest that Mrs. Clinton and her aides were ultimately relieved that she had not gone as far as Ms. Rice had in her description of the attacks.