The Obama administration chose their words carefully the day the public learned of the attack. In the immediate coverage and in response to press inquiries, administration officials refrained from using the word “terrorism.” Instead “Act of Terror” was the term used by the White House.
Hillary Clinton would go on to give a speech from the State Department while the consulate still smoldered. During that speech, she praised those who had fallen as “heroes” and again referred to a bigoted anti-Muslim video that she claimed started everything.
However, not everyone was on the same page … yet.
Several administration officials denied the video’s role, simply stating that “we simply don’t know.”
An NBC reporter asked White House staffers to comment on information that those responsible for the attack were part of a terror group like Al-Qaeda. They initially stated that it was too early to tell.
At roughly the same time, President Obama gave a speech and stated that he and his administration vigorously condemned anti-Islamic rhetoric. This in reference to an obscure video posted online containing bigoted rhetoric towards Muslims.