"Let's be very clear about this. The president talked about what he knew and when he knew it," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said on Tuesday night when asked about the Benghazi attack.
But when did the president first learn from intelligence reports that the assault on Benghazi was a pre-planned terrorist attack, not spontaneous mob violence in response to a YouTube video?
That's a question Messina said he couldn't answer. "Listen, you're asking a campaign guy about an issue that, you know, go ask [White House Press Secretary Jay] Carney," Messina told me. "You'll have to talk to our national security folks," David Plouffe said when asked the same question.
On Wednesday, I asked National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor in an email when President Obama first received intelligence reports indicating that the Benghazi attack was not related to the YouTube video protests. But 24 hours later we still haven't received a response.
It's a simple question. It's a question that could help clarify whether the president was simply given inaccurate intelligence or was intentionally misleading the nation about a terrorist attack. But, for some reason, it's a question the administration will not answer.