ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - The White House said on Thursday it was "self-evident" that an assault on the U.S. consulate in Libya that resulted in the deaths of the ambassador and three other Americans was a "terrorist attack."

"It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters travelling with President Barack Obama. "Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials."

Carney's comments reinforced congressional testimony on Wednesday by Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, that the consulate assault was a terrorist act. But Carney did not go any further in clarifying whether the administration believed the attack was pre-planned.

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  • Malaysia

    Malaysian Muslims shout a slogan as they march to the U.S. Embassy during a protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. A small peaceful demonstration was held Friday outside the U.S. Embassy in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

  • Indonesia

    Indonesian Muslims shout slogans as they hold a banner reads "Innocence of Muslims is the result of secular democracy" during a protest against the anti-Islam film that has sparked anger among followers, outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

  • Indonesia

    Indonesian Muslims shout slogans as they hold a banner which reads "Prophet Muhammad is symbol of Islam" during a protest against an anti-Islam film that has sparked anger among followers, outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

  • Indonesia

    Indonesian Muslims shout slogans as they hold a banner which reads "Prophet Muhammad is symbol of Islam" during a protest against an anti-Islam film that has sparked anger among followers, outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

  • Egypt

    Egyptian protesters run from the site of clashes with security forces, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa)

  • Egypt

    Egyptian protesters clash with security forces, not shown, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

  • Egypt

    Sinai Bedouin protest as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad in the central Sinai oasis of Wadi Feran, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammed Sabry)

  • Egypt

    Egyptian protesters clash with security forces, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

  • Libya

    Libyan followers of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades burn the U.S. flag during a protest in front of the Tibesti Hotel, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Around 150 members of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades chanted " Obama, Obama, we are all Osama." (AP Photo / Mohammad Hannon)

  • Jordan

    Jordanian riot police stand guard during a protest outside the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad.(AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

  • Jordan

    An Islamist Jordanian protester burn the U.S. flag near the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad.(AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

  • Jordan

    Islamist Jordanian protesters chant anti-U.S. slogans near the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad.(AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

  • Libya

    President Mohammed el-Megarif right, stands for a moment of silence during his visits to the U.S. Consulate to express sympathy for the death of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens and his colleagues in the deadly attack on the Consulate last Tuesday September 11, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

  • Libya

    Libyan military guards check one of the U.S. Consulate's burnt out buildings during a visit by Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, not shown, to the U.S. Consulate to express sympathy for the death of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens and his colleagues in the deadly attack on the Consulate last Tuesday, September 11, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

  • Libya

    President Mohammed el-Megarif, front row second left, lays a wreath, during his visits to the U.S. Consulate to express sympathy for the death of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens and his colleagues in the deadly attack on the Consulate last Tuesday September 11, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

  • Los Angeles

    Photographers' tripods are set up in front of the suburban Los Angeles home believed to be that of filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

  • Los Angeles

    A religious figure, shoes and a newspaper lie at the steps of the suburban Los Angeles home believed to be that of filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)